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Moosa Creek Blog

Wreaths and Swags

Creekside Chat

 Wreaths and Swags

As we head into winter decorate your home with natural displays of California native plants.  Swags are long branch cuttings wired together where they overlap. Using a round wire or willow frame helps keep the form of a wreath when wiring on cuttings.  Pine cones, rose hips, dried flower heads and berries make nice touches.

Planting perennials means that you will always have a cutting garden in place. You may already have some of these chaparral plants on your property. Delay pruning them until you want to make decorations, and then your pruning will become a harvest instead: much more delightful!

Coyote Brush can grow large and leggy, which is perfect for harvesting. The fine leaves make a great filler for bouquets and swags as well.  The stiff, wide leaves of Sugarbush or its cousin Lemonade Berry will last for a long time once cut. Has a scrub jay planted an acorn where you don’t want an oak? The holly-like leaves of Coast Live Oak are prickly to handle, but will make a cheery wreath, so cut the sapling when you can use the branches.

Any of the yarrows, the red Paprika, pink Apple Blossom, bright Golden Yarrow or the white make long-lasting fresh and dried flowers. So will any of the buckwheats. Concha California Lilac or any of the ceanothuses, are early bloomers and their blue-tipped branches of shiny green leaves are beautiful as both flowers and filler. A slow-growing but beautiful bush with edible red berries is Summer Holly. These lovely shrubs make excellent landscape plants, provide bird food and make great wreaths. Toyon, or California Holly,  provides berries at the end of the year as well as lovely holly-like foliage to fill arrangements.

Don’t forget our stunning native grasses for height and a light, airy look. Giant Wild Rye, Deer Grass, the slightly blue-grey California Fescue and the amazing seedheads of Blue Grama Grass all make exceptional fresh or dried arrangements.

Bring native plants into your home to provide interesting textures, colors and scents for decorations and you will bring cheer into your house naturally.

Diane and Miranda Kennedy operate Finch Frolic Garden Permaculture, at www.vegetariat.com.


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