Feeling the Xmas stress, get out and pick something.
Easy free ideas for a dried flower Christmas that also happen to be stress reducing.
We know how stressful Christmas gets with families, work, shopping and holidays to prep for so that’s why we’ve come up with a list of common flora you can pick that’s in season and easily found at this time of year.
First of all we need to point out that most of what we think of at Christmas – holly berries and fresh foliage wreaths are what works in the northern hemisphere where it’s winter. There a wreath will last on the door for 6 weeks, but here it’s early summer and the same fresh wreath will last 2-3 days (at least one that’s not in floral foam. We don’t use floral foam because of it’s negative environmental impact.) So a fresh wreath sitting on the front door of a NZ house baking in the hot sun in early summer just won’t work.
It’s why we make our Christmas wreaths out of dried flowers or at least flowers that will dry. So with all this in mind we’ve put together a list that works here of flora commonly found in gardens, parks and along the roadside. So get your hat and clippers, go looking for the following, and notice how your stress levels drop as you get out in the garden and start connecting with nature.
For a deep red/ burgundy/ black colour:
- red maple
- copper beech
- Akeake (red)
- Flowering red manuka
- Corokia (red berries or yellow berries)
- Flowering bottle brush
- Copper sheen
- flowering manuka
- flowering kanuka
- coriander flowers
For white cont.
- Carrot weed
- Yarrow/ achillea
For green/ yellow/ gold:
- Magnolia leaves
- Dill/ Fennel flower
- Larch (especially branches with cones)
- Angelica (best fresh in a vase)
- Rosemary (best used fresh)
- Thyme (best used fresh, but can be made into a wreath if you have wild thyme)
- Poppy seed heads
- Blue cedar (for its amazing pine smell)
Be aware that some flora, like manuka, kanuka, poppy seed heads and copper sheen can be messy as they dry, dropping little seeds everywhere. Leaves like akeake and maple will curl up into delicate ribbons as they dry so can be easier to work with fresh.
Once you’ve gathered them what should you do? We suggest tying little bundles with twine and hanging them upside down on your door, tree or wall. For a more sculptural look choose an interesting branch, tie a few bunches to that and hang on your wall.
Use as little present decorations – rosemary and thyme are particularly cute and fragrant but best picked the day of or day before. Or try decorating your own wreath.
Please note if foraging from a property that’s not yours we always recommend asking the owner first and not entering into paddocks uninvited.
To see how we’ve used this flora in our wreaths visit our Christmas catalogue here and get inspired.