The garden is a treasure trove of possibilities for holiday decorations.
Pyracantha berries alternate with popcorn to make attractive garlands.
Oranges, lemons or apples sprinkled with cinnamon or cardamom and glued with whole cloves are deliciously fragrant Pomander balls.
Rose hips add bright red and orange colors to green crowns.
Vines of grapes, honeysuckle, wisteria, willow or ivy bend into several usable forms.
Eucalyptus pods, pine cones, acorns and magnolia leaf clusters offer many shades of brown.Bufford holly, which grows here better than the traditional variety, gives us a sticky green with red berries.
And of course mistletoe.
Herbs can also cut the stems of Yule, season the jelly, add perfume to the twigs or crowns, and perfume the air in a potpourris.
Among the living plants for interior color are African violets, azaleas, begonias, Christmas cacti, Jerusalem cherries, cyclamen and Kalanchoe, as well as the always reliable chrysanthemum and Christmas star. Be sure to give these live plants a bright indirect light, keep them cool and protected from drafts, and water them just enough to keep the potting soil barely moist.
Cacti and succulents are also good choices, but require direct sunlight and very little water when kept indoors.
Norfolk Island pines can become mini Christmas trees, with their own little lights and ornaments. Make available to each room of the house its own individually decorated tree cookie cutters, hanging with red ribbons for the kitchen!
Indoor plants need rest
Don’t worry that your houseplants don’t look too naughty now – they sleep like outdoor plants. Plants need this rest, so stop feeding them and water them less frequently. Also make sure that they are not blown with hot air from a heating ventilation or chimney.
Plants near the windows may have too much cold air at night, so move them or place a shield between them and the window.
The most comfortable temperature range for indoor plants is 65-75 degrees with extremes of 60 and 80 degrees.
Unless we get significant rainfall, continue watering your wintering outdoor plants to keep the soil moist.
Watering should be reduced and not stopped because plant photosynthesis slows down and cold weather dries out plants.
Plants that are not irrigated are more prone to frost damage.
Prune fruit trees and vines Until mid-February, but only when all the leaves have fallen. This indicates that the plants are completely resting, and pruning does not damage living tissues.
However, do not cut off shrubs with spring flowers, otherwise you will remove the color of the coming year. Wait until flowering is over.
Also wait to prune the fuchsias outside until they come out and you can see what frost damage has occurred.