One of my favourite ways to enjoy the magic of Christmas is to make simple decorations from the hedgerow. Bringing foliage, seeds and branches inside from November onwards is a great way to add small festive touches week by week, before going 'full out' with decorations in the last few days before Christmas. And if you can't face the idea of creating your own elaborate Instagram-perfect wreath, there are much simpler and quicker ways to bring the season inside!
With all the blustery weather in November, there are usually plenty of branches and twigs lying around, making the perfect structure to hang one or two early decorations from. Although it's lovely to install a large hanging branch above a table or fireplace, it's so much easier to just put them in a beautiful statement vase - particularly in front of a mirror - to make a stunning natural display. This simple decoration is also the perfect way to sneak Christmas in early - under the radar - if you live with a Christmas grinch!
Small seasonal posies are another favourite of mine and there is nothing more festive than Holly and Ivy. The fun here is not just in gathering the foliage, but also in rummaging through cupboards or antique shops for the perfect little jar to display them in afterwards. Filling an unused fire place grate with foliage and church candles is another alternative.
They may be less easy to come by, but feathers can also make a lovely display at this time of year. Mine were collected from many walks over the years, and just gathered together with string and added to an old Lassi cup to give a bit of sparkle when the candles are lit - another antique shop find.
Have you noticed how beautiful acorns and sycamore seeds are when you look really close up? This year I decided to paint some gold to bring out the details and use them for scattering on the mantlepiece and the Christmas table. Better than any shop bought bauble in my book.
If you have a lot of patience, try creating a delicate garland from Honesty seeds, often found still lurking in the garden at this time of year. Painted gold or left natural, they make the most delicate paper chain. To construct, attach a few centimetres of transparent thread to each individual seed stem and then tie each of those threads to a longer piece to make up the garland. You can add any number of lighter seeds to this also, such as sycamore.
Finally, one of the simplest ways to add Christmas scent to any room, particularly if you are not having a real tree, is to add some foliage to your storm lamps - fir or eucalyptus are favourites. There is something so simple and calming about the greenery, glass and flickering candle combined.
I hope you enjoy creating simple seasonal decorations this year - the perfect excuse to get outdoors more in the dark winter months!
Products featured: Grey Sycamore cushion; Sage Rye cushion and lampshades.