The holidays can get away from us pretty easily with the many things that suddenly appear on the to-do list. There are some easy things you can do however to bring the magic of the holidays into your home without spending a lot of time or money. Here are some of my my fool-proof tips for making your home look holiday ready!
First the holiday pots! I know I have harped on this before, but it really is the easiest way to perk your home up for the season. Pick up a readymade pot of fresh greens, pot up a living evergreen that you can plant into the ground later or make up your own holiday container creation.
Making your own is easy – here’s a basic list of supplies to get you started:
- 3 Evergreen bundles (1 cedar for skirting the edge, 2 other varieties, different textures, like pine and fir)
- Spruce top or branches for height
- 2 outdoor-safe berry picks
- 3 pine cones
Add to the basic recipe as much as you want: unbreakable outdoor ornaments, magnolia or juniper sprigs, lights or even a can of snow flock can be fun!
Fresh roping is another essential decorating tool for me. I always get several coils and put it everywhere – inside and out. Outside, wrap it up the banister and around the door, wind extra pieces around the light fixture and to fill in around the holiday pots you just made. Inside, drape roping over the sink window and mirrors; tuck sprigs in the guest bath, under place settings and on holiday packages.
For an easy centerpiece, find a large low bowl, set a single poinsettia (or 3 if they’re small) in the center, coil white pine roping around them to cover their pots and tuck pinecones in to fill in any gaps.
Firs and cedars are the most fragrant, however pine and boxwood tend to last longer. Spraying greens with an anti-desiccant, such as Wilt-stop, will keep them fresher longer by sealing in the moisture, but does also seal in some of that fragrance too.
Additionally, think about buying extra and keeping a coil or two in a window well outside- when the first batch dries out, simply switch it out with the fresh.
Pot up some Amaryllis and Paperwhite bulbs to enjoy all winter long. These non-hardy bulbs are an easy, goof-proof way to have indoor blooms for months.
Paperwhites usually take about 4-6 weeks from bulb to bloom. Buy extra and start a second, or even a third batch, every couple weeks to have constant white flowers – they look great in a kitchen window!
- Ziva: the original and still the favorite
- Ariel: a shorter version of the original
- Inbal: a less fragrant paperwhite
Rock or soil? If potting into a jar or vase (something without drain holes) use pea gravel or rock. If your pot has holes potting soil will be best.
Amaryllis are the king of winter blooms with their large green leaves and velvety flowers. ‘Red Lion’ is the all-time deep red classic but try other varieties too – whites, pinks and peach or variations of these in double and single blooms.
You can also find Erin’s article in the December issue of the The Kansas City Gardener.