h Wreat Tools Greener CREATE A CHRISTMAS WREATH WHAT YOU’LL NEED THE EASY GUIDE TO • Tape measure • Secateurs • Christmas tree • Christmas tree stand • Greenery, berries, seedheads, pine cones A GREENER t Chrismas or bucket of pebbles • Rope CHRISTMAS • Festive plants For more information: For wreaths/garlands www.rhs.org.uk/advice • Wreath ring/wire mesh www.plantforlife.info • Florist wire www.bpoaonline.co.uk Wreaths are a lovely way to enhance the festive atmosphere in your home, welcoming Christmas visitors at your front procedure a little further down the frame, ensuring the bunches overlap, leaving no obvious gaps. ● At first you may find the foliage H TA HORTICULTURAL TRADES ASSOCIATION THE HORTICULTURAL TRADES ASSOCIATION IS RUN BY THE GARDEN INDUSTRY FOR THE GARDEN INDUSTRY door. They are quite simple to slides around a little, but the more It is dedicated to providing services, products, advice make and most of the materials you add, the more stable it will and information to help support and promote the are freely available. become. Keep your work flat on business activities of garden retailers, growers, ● You will need a wire frame made a tabletop to prevent movement. landscapers, wholesalers, manufacturers and from two circles of wire looped ● For a really full wreath, fill both service providers in the UK. together or a length of wire mesh the inner and outer parts of your ● Tel: 0118 930 3132 or visit www.the-hta.org.uk (rolled into a sausage shape and frame with foliage. The more you ● PlantforLife – visit www.plantforlife.info R HS bent to form a circle) or a ready- add, the better it will look. ● Stars For Europe – visit www.starsforeurope.com made wire ring from your local ● Attach your decorations by florist; florist wire; some greenery twisting wire around the base of (ivy, laurel leaves, leylandii, Lawson’s cypress and holly the cones, berries and seedheads. Twist the ends firmly together ROYAL HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY work well); and berries, cones and push the wire into the wreath THE ROYAL HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY and seedheads. frame. Secure by twisting the ends IS THE UK’S LEADING GARDENING CHARITY ● First attach a length of florist again at the back of the wreath. Membership benefits include: wire securely at the top of the ● Finally, attach the finished ● Free entry with a guest to RHS Gardens Wisley, frame to hang your wreath. wreath to a nail on your front Rosemoor, Hyde Hall and Harlow Carr; ● Cut small bunches of foliage to door for all to see and admire. ● Free entry to more than 140 recommended 25cm (10in) lengths and wrap a ● You can create beautiful natural gardens; privileged entry and reduced-rate tickets piece of wire around the lower garlands in a similar way. Use for RHS flower shows; end of the bunch. Attach the florists wire to attach overlapping ● Free gardening advice service; foliage to the ring with another bunches of evergreens and ● Free monthly edition of The Garden magazine. piece of wire. Keep repeating the decorations to a length of rope. ● Call 0845 130 4646 or visit www.rhs.org.uk Attach evergreen stems to a length of rope to create a natural garland Photography: Stars For Europe, Tim Sandall/The Garden, Terry Rugg Copyright: All information contained within the Easy Guide series of leaflets remains the copyright of the HTA and cannot be reproduced in written or electronic form without permission EG34/10/10 Made from at least 50% recycled paper; the remainder is from certified forests roducion Int t INTRODUCTION t s Fesive Plant FESTIVE PLANTS Flowering and colourful plants are always a joy to give and receive at For centuries, Christmas has been celebrated by bringing nature into the home. Far more environmentally friendly than synthetic glitz, plants offer Christmas. Their bright, cheerful appearance, especially those with red natural beauty and wonderful fragrances. As well as the real Christmas flowers, bracts and stems, lifts the spirits and epitomises the season. trees and exotically coloured houseplants on sale at your local garden Follow our simple guidelines to help your festive plants perform centre, you can decorate your home with bowls of pine cones or colourful superbly right through the Christmas season and well into the new year. leaves, twisted stems or teasels in a vase, garlands of ivy, holly and mistle- CYCLAMEN t ree Chrismas t toe, and natural tree decorations such as cinnamon sticks tied with ribbon Cyclamen are one of the most and studded oranges. So for a greener Christmas, why not add a little charming winter-flowering plants natural country charm to your decorations – and get the kids to help! with exotic-looking swept-back flowers in intense shades of red, POINSETTIAS Their name comes from Joel CHOOSING A REAL CHRISTMAS TREE purple, pink and white with heart- shaped, silver-veined foliage. Poinsettias have become part of Christmas symbolism and Robert Poinsett, who introduced them to the USA about 1828. And Selecting and decorating the Christmas tree is one of the key festive They are easy and rewarding decoration. Their association even though poinsettias now come traditions, and nothing compares to the wonderful fresh pine scent, houseplants, provided you meet with Christmas dates back to 16th- in different colours, the red and appearance and texture of a real Christmas tree. What’s more, every tree their requirements – a cool spot century Mexico as legend tells of a green classic is the most popular. that’s harvested from Christmas tree farms is replanted and all parts can (12-15°C) that’s brightly-lit, but out poor girl who had nothing to give Poinsettias are easy to care for. be shredded and reused, unlike artificial trees that end their lives in land- of direct sunlight. Overwatering is to celebrate Jesus’ birthday. An To enjoy them as long as possible fill sites. The traditional Christmas tree is the Norway spruce, but look out one of the chief causes of their angel told her to gather weeds put them in a bright, warm spot, for similar trees on sale with better needle retention – like the Nordman demise. When the compost surface from the roadside and place them around 20°C without draughts. Do fir. Just remember to give your tree plenty of water and follow our simple feels dry immerse the pot in a by the altar. Red ‘blossoms’ not overwater by leaving water in steps to ensure that your beautiful natural tree takes pride of place in bowl of rain water for 20 minutes sprouted from the weeds and the saucer – water only when the your home this Christmas. then pour the excess away. turned into poinsettias. potting mixture is almost dry. ● Before you buy your Christmas tree, CHRISTMAS ROSE FORCED HYACINTHS make sure you know how much room Said to have sprung from the Bowls of forced hyacinths that you’ve got to house it. Measure the tears of a young girl who had have been grown in the dark to ceiling height and width of the space nothing to offer the Christ child, encourage them into early flower and take a tape measure with you. the Christmas rose (Helleborus add a delightful scent to the home. ● Look for a green tree with no sign of niger) blooms in the darkest To prolong flowering, place in a brown needles. Check that the trunk is months of the year, making them sunny spot away from draughts sturdy and straight and the tree has a a valuable asset to any garden. and radiators. Stand the pots on good, even shape with well-spaced Native to Europe, the Christmas shallow trays of moist gravel. branches and no obvious gaps. Needles rose grows 38cm (15in) high and Cut off the flowers when they should stay fast if you gently run your bears single white flowers about die and give the bulbs some liquid fingers down one of the lower branches. 8cm (3in) in diameter from feed until the leaves begin to ● Once home, place your tree in a cool, December to March. Grow in a fade. Gradually dry off the bulbs dry place out of the wind in a bucket of sheltered position, in soil with and plant them out in the garden water until you’re ready to decorate. plenty of added organic matter. to enjoy in years to come. ● Before you bring it into the home, saw 2.5cm (1in) off the end of the trunk. AMARYLLIS CORNUS STEMS ● Place the tree in as cool a position Hippeastrum or amaryllis is an Magnificent on sunny days in the as possible – ideally well away from indoor plant producing large, winter garden, the fiery stems of radiators and open fires. colourful showy flowers on tall Cornus alba (dogwoods) are ideal ● Christmas trees keep best in plain stems in winter. Give plants plenty for Christmas flower arrangements. water rather than soil or sand, which of light so the stems don’t become For the best display of colourful block the pores in the bark, so use a too leggy. Support stems with a winter stem colour, plant your specially designed Christmas tree stand short stake to keep them upright cornus in a moist site in full sun. or bucket of pebbles. under the weight of the flowers. Allow to grow unpruned for the ● Top up with water with a little sugar After the blooms have faded keep first year after planting and then added – you may find your tree needs the bulbs in a warm place and prune right back to 5cm (2in) as much as 2 litres (3 pints) a day. resume watering the next autumn. from the ground in early March.