Using nature for Christmas decorating

Using bits and pieces from nature can be a beautiful and easy way to decorate your home in any season, but especially at Christmas. We are so lucky to live in an area with so much foliage and branches available to us. There are several types of decoration you can create using natural elements, including wreaths, garlands and vase displays.

You can begin by going out foraging in your local area. Take with you a pair of secateurs, gloves and a bucket to collect items in. When you start to forage look for the classic holly and ivy – they both last well indoors and outside. Laurel hedging also works well and has good longevity. Berries, seeded ivy and old man’s beard are good fillers and add texture and colour. Red and green are the classic British Christmas colours and are easily available around this area. I like to include dried foraged items like Hogwort stems and thistles. Even a feather or two found on the ground can be added to your display.

A really simple way to use your material is to make a garland. You can make small bunches up and lay them down the centre of a table, overlapping them to make them fuller and hide the join between each; this is a classic garland. Then scatter throughout berries or shop bought flowers (roses and carnations last well out of water), small pots of cyclamen and heather, or baubles and Christmas decorations to add colour and texture. Garlands always look beautiful draped across the top of a mantlepiece, and, if you wire all the bunches together in a line, you can place them over doorways, up staircases, on windowsills, etc.

In addition to making garlands, you can make vase displays with branches and berries and dot them around the house.  For added colour, you can spray paint branches with silver or gold paint and include small baubles in the vase. You can also make wreaths by purchasing a moss or willow ring and wiring leaves, berries, flowers, etc to the ring as well as attaching berries, nuts and dried fruits or Christmas decorations.  For a finishing touch wrap a strand of fairy lights around the wreath and add a beautiful bow.

Creating your own Christmas décor is fun, creative and an inexpensive way to add your own personal touch to the festive season.

Sue Tanner

Sue is the owner of Blooms at the Barn, a studio-based florist in Ascott under Wychwood. She specialises in flower displays for all occasions. Find out more about her services on her website at and Instagram using blooms_at_the_barn.

December 2021 – January 2022