I’ve been hosting Festive Table Centrepiece Workshops this month and foraging the garden for evergreens to work into the displays. Evergreen plants and branches are used in lots of decorations at this time of year in our homes and as their leaves retain their colour throughout Winter, they have long been symbolic of immortality and eternal life.
The leaves of evergreen trees and shrubs have a thick, often waxy coating that helps to prevent loss of water which makes them perfect for cutting into winter arrangements. Traditionally, we might use conifer branches, swags of ivy and cut holly in decorating but look a little deeper into your garden and you can use many evergreen stems and leaves to adorn your wreaths, mantles or tables.
One plant I like to use in arrangements is a Rhododenron although do be careful not to remove flowering buds in places where you would like to see the flower. Always cut from low down or the back of the bush where it won’t be seen. Rhododendrons are the staple structure of my garden, I have five – for now! For me, they are the plant which keeps on giving: their evergreen leaves remain true all year long, they grow large enough to fill a space or provide height at the back of a border and then, come late Spring, I never tire of their abundant blooms in a myriad of colours! They are also the National Flower of Nepal if you want to learn a random, new fact today!
I have two Viburnum Tinus which live on either side of the Rhododendrons to give structure and which have grown way better than I had anticipated to really fill out the space. So much so that I’m going to have to rearrange the whole border around these evergreens as they are squashing some of the perennials but digging out and rearranging the borders is what it is all about for me! At this time of year, cut stems from the Viburnum are great for adding to evergreen arrangements.
Choisya Sundance is a fabulous evergreen! It’s a real limey green, maybe even bordering on yellow and so in the Winter garden and when cut to add to foliage arrangements, it really stands out and brings a bright ping of colour!
I do love a Hebe for its evergreen leaves and this one in particular, for that gorgeous blast of purple colour in the late Autumn, early Winter. The leaves are green and glossy and the delicate purple blooms just perfect! If you can manage to snip a little when it is still in colour to bring indoors, then that lovely little pop of purple will certainly brighten any arrangement. I have two in the garden and this is the last little show on colour on one, the one one has already lost all the purple passion for this year.
The compact Hebe Little Red Rum is a plant I have featured before. It is a gorgeous wee gap filler and seems to like my moist, clay soil. The green foliage is tinged with the most striking burgundy and so this little plant earns a place among the big boys as a stunning contrast in the border but also brings a depth of colour when used in decorating indoors at this time of year.
In the same border as the Hebe Little Red Rum and one of the Choisya Sundance is a stunning Rosemary plant. These are planted in the border near my kitchen window so I have some greenery to look out at everyday. I chop bits of the Rosemary during Winter to stick in vases of Winter colour and foliage arrangements and to have the scent in the house and as Rosemary has long been associated with Christmastime, it is gorgeous to have around the house.
Do feel free to me leave a comment on these six as I love to chat about plants and gardening or let me know what you add to Winter foliage arrangements! Enjoy reading other #SixonSaturday blogs for information and inspiration as gardeners around the world share six things from their garden on a Saturday. #SixonSaturday is hosted by The Propagator, and you’ll find lots of links on Twitter on the #SixonSaturday hashtag. You can find The Pink Wheelbarrow on Twitter at @PinkWheelbarrow.