Holiday Decor from Garden Findings

The Gardenist

Rather than spending a small fortune on natural holiday decorations, a lot of interesting and pretty things can be pulled from the garden or the wild to dress up your home for the season. I have been wanting to create something with milk weed pods for years…

…it is a desire borne of the fact that when I was a kid we had a whole collection of ornaments that my grandmother had made from pods that she had harvested near her home. I always loved them and thought it nice that she had made them for us.
My re-creation took on a different look than hers — she chose to hang tiny glass ornaments inside the pods and then string them up with pretty ribbon. But I lacked the tiny baubles that she had found somewhere, plus, I wanted a bolder statement. So I opted to paint the insides gold and then turn them into retro holiday flowers. It was a pretty simple proposition with a paint brush and a hot glue gun. I hid the blob of glue in the center with pretty sparkly beads and when I was done I used these, along with other finds from my garden, to dress up a simple garland.

Seed heads from grasses, lavender stems, and the dried flowers of some hydrangeas mixed well with the gold colored milk weed pod flowers.

There are many other great plants that you can play with for holiday decorations. Some of my favorites are:


  • Holly (obviously)

  • Winter Berry (these are bright red berries that can often be found by the side of the road)

  • Callicarpa (a pretty purple berry option -- but it takes alot to make an impact!)

  • Boxwood (now is a perfectly fine time to prune your boxwood for shape and use the cuttings for decorations)

  • Seed pods from day lilies, Irises, and poppies. (spray paint them for interesting objects)

  • Dried Autumn Joy Sedum (sort of a burgundy color)

  • Bare twigs from most any pruning project

  • Bittersweet - (pretty orange berries) just make sure to NOT throw it into your compost when done (better the fireplace) — or else you will regret infesting your garden with this thug!

Do you have a favorite plant to pick and use in decorations? My choices are very New England based, but I am curious, what grows local to you that can be decoration ready?

images: Rochelle Greayer