Bored with baubles? Tired of tinsel?

With Christmas celebrations less than three weeks away I have spent the weekend decking the halls in preparation for the big day.

I love Christmas and always enjoy the anticipation of selecting the tree and decorating the house with lovely sparkly decorations.

This year I vowed not to be tempted to add to my collection of baubles and tinsel but to turn to look at more traditional materials that would add seasonal aromas and textures to my home over the festive period.Eucalyptus

One of my favourite scented shrubs is Eucalyptus which looks very stylish with its rounded blue-grey leaves. I love to display it in a delicate storm lamp that I was given as a Christmas present several years ago. It looks equally stunning on its own, in a mixed bouquet or with carefully selected silk flowers. I usually place it on a console table in the hallway to provide a welcoming festive aroma for my yuletide visitors.

IMG_5778This year, inspired by the mild weather, I decided to go foraging for windfall Silver Birch and berry-laden Holly.

Silver Birch, with its lovely papery white bark is perfect to bring into the house in the winter. Whether it is to provide logs for an open fire or to use purely as decoration it can look very effective. Here I have wrapped it with Ivy and partnered it with a floor standing lantern in an otherwise bleak corner.

IMG_5765A collection of woodland finds can be used to great effect as a table decoration. I don’t believe that these have to be formal arrangements just a handful of evergreen shrub stems, preferably with berries, a few  fir cones of varying size and type, and a little imagination go a long way. Here I have used a white Ikea jug, some prettily decorated votives and a beautiful glass serving platter with silver base to make this centrepiece for our dining table.

Fruit wreath

If,unlike me, you have neither the time nor inclination to collect your own materials there is an abundance of beautifully crafted wreathes and table decorations available to buy.

One of my favourites is this cheerful looking fruit wreath which is on sale at my local farm shop.

For more details visit www.thefarmshoplyneuk.com where you will find a large variety of fresh seasonal produce.

To find woodland style decorations including Birch Bark Candle, Frosted Branches Hanging Tree, and Jewelled Twig Light Up Garlands visit www.coxandcox.co.uk.

To make your own decorations using natural materials in woodland surroundings go to www.surreywildlifetrust.org and search “What’s On” for list of up and coming events.