Christmas Decorating

Two posts in once week. Wow. There's a reason.

Christmas decorating -- with live plants. These plants are available now so look for them while you are out and about this weekend.

They will not be so plentiful (or in good shape) by Christmas week.

Hellebores, the Christmas Rose, with Albuca spiralis, and preserved moss.
I spray painted the metal container red.
If the green preserved moss is a little too garish for you, try the tan.

Hellebores, The Christmas Rose. An elegantly simple white blossom with dark green foliage. Placed in a red pot, a Hellebore earns its common name, Christmas Rose.

Winter Hellebores bloom November through January thus giving rise to the story of a young girl with nothing to give Christ on the night of his birth. Down came an angel, she touched the ground and out popped a beautiful Hellebore. Little girl presents it to the King of Kings. A new religion and a new legend. All in one night.

Winter Hellebores are agreeable indoor plants. If you buy them now, look for plants with many buds. With a modicum of care, they will still be alive next Spring when they can be transplanted to a somewhat shady spot. They thrive in Zones 4-9.

New to me is the Cape Star Frizzle Sizzle (Albuca spiralis). I could not resist the whimsical corkscrew foliage.

Frizzle Sizzle is an easy to care for South African bulb. I'm told a stalk of small, lily-like blossoms will appear in February (that will be nice). I suppose it could be transplanted to your garden once the weather warms up but bear in mind it is tropical, Zone 10.

Try this for a more traditional Christmas look. Mini cypress, Winterberry and a frilly fern. 

I glued felt to the bottom of this heavy cement pot.

Very Christmasy.
Tip: never spray paint cement pots.

A pair of demilune tables sit on either side of the fireplace in our living room. They are constantly begging to be decorated. Those under 35 call it styled, not decorated.

Plan A, a dismal failure.

Cypress topiary. Moss. Pine cones. Lonely. Boring.

I am not a minimalist. I am firmly in the Bunny Williams camp:

Minimalist rooms can be so beautiful, but I can't live in one; I love objects too much.
Bunny Williams 

Plan B, better.

What's more Christmasy than a topiary and a gold pomegranate? 

Close ups make for good styling pics but the real life view must be considered. How does it look from the other side of the room?

I love these Frizzle Sizzles! Wild.
It needs more balance.

Better. It may not be a traditional Christmas look, but it is festive. It's a start anyway. Still needs a little tweaking. Candles? Maybe. Christmas week I will replace the feather wreath with fresh evergreens.

Except for the plants, everything else I already owned. The bowl was a wedding gift, the black planters I bought at a garage sale 5 years ago, also a recipient of spray paint, the faux pomegranates came gilded gold. The feather wreaths I've had for years. Come Halloween one hangs on the front door adorned with an orange ribbon. Recycling isn't just for bottles and cans.

When there's so much to do to get ready for Christmas, why bother with real plants? 

Because with very little care all of these plants will still be alive and green long after Christmas. This obviously does not apply to readers in warm climates. For those of us with six months of Winter, green plants are a welcome reminder of life after snow. 

And what's nicer than a real green plant in the dead of Winter? 

With no mental effort on my part, two weeks of Hawaii instantly came to mind...real green plants were way down on the list. 

But you get my point.

Do you decorate for the holidays? If so, have you started?

Happy Weekend! Happy plant shopping!

Thanks for reading,
Linda Pakravan

and thanks to my patient friends at Berry's Greenhouses in Boston!


  1. Hi Linda, this looks so beautiful. I love the gold balls. Happy Holidays!

  2. Beautiful. And the sign of a real designer. The rest of us are happy when we get the bow right on our wreaths:).

    1. Thank you!

      It sounds so easy, make a bow, right? No, no. It's not...the loop is too big, the tail is too short, it won't stay together...we ran out of ribbon... But isn't that part of the fun?

  3. Anonymous7.12.14

    Can't tell you how much I like that Cape Star Frizzle Sizzle. When I googled it, you were the third entry. This means I'm going to have to work at finding a source for being one which I don't think will happen in time for the holidays. But the little cypress tress and ferns I could pull off in time.

    I agree with LPC above. I thought the first photo of the demilune table was just great. And then POW! What a beautiful vignette. The bowl itself is simply to die for!

    1. Thank you! There is something so appealing about Frizzle Sizzle. Happy decorating!

  4. The plants are gorgeous but I have a serious case of black thumb. Even fake plants don't thrive at my house.

    1. Thanks for stopping by! Neither fake nor real are meant to last forever.

  5. LInda I love your decor and like to use a few live plants for the holidays. It was funny I woke up this morning, and a narcissus that had grown to about 3 feet the last couple of weeks was laying over on its side. I have never seen one get this tall! It is now propped up and tied with ribbon!

    Thank you so much for visiting!

    Introducing Jewelry Designer Brady Legler!

  6. Linda....I did not know that Hellebores could grow inside! I have some in my yard....but now I want to bring a few in the house:) I am also not a minimalist and have to watch myself or it can go to "cluttered" in a hot minute!

  7. Beautiful, Linda!!! Thank you for introducing me to Cape Star Frizzle Sizzle. Now where can I find them in DC....hmmm. xoxo


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