Bring Nature Indoors
For centuries people in colder climates have been bringing nature indoors to display signs of hope and life through the winter season. Enliven your space this winter by making your own evergreen creations.
Grab some old jars, vases and bottles and fill them with the prettiest greens you can find. Use soft tufts of white pine for a whimsical look, go geometric with white spruce sprigs, choose juniper to show off the blue-hued berries, or display course red pine needles to get funky. You can put a lid over the jars for a science-like sampling, or go more formal with some sprigs in a vase.
Display dry for a couple of weeks, or place in water so your “bouquets” will last up to a couple of months. Try displaying your jars at eye height in front of a window or white wall so you can see the plant silhouettes.
Alternatively, fill a wide mouth jar with cones. Tamarack trees have particularly small cones and red pine cones have shapes that still allow some light to pass through the gaps. Layer with rosehips (the “berries” from rose shrubs) for added colour.
Cedar and hemlock both lie flat. They are flat enough to garnish a serving platter, or use in place of a table runner with condiments tucked between sprays of needles. Lay large sprigs on top of lighter coloured dishware or fabric to emphasize colour and form. Be aware that some plant materials, such as pine boughs, may have sticky sap that could stain fabric.
Trim a few sprigs from an evergreen in your yard, or purchase some from a local source. Remember evergreen branches will not regrow and birds and small mammals may use trees and berries for shelter or food. Never collect from public areas, avoid collecting invasive species such as phragmites and ensure you avoid noxious weeds or poisonous plants.
For more ideas on using native plants indoors a quick internet search will yield many ideas and not enough time. Happy holidays!