Make beautiful decorations for your home, from your garden

Make this fabulous Christmas garland with a few pine cones, cinnamon sticks, seasonal fruit and bits and pieces from your garden. It not only looks beautiful, but has a delicious scent too. When the Christmas chaos of shopping, card-writing, and parties just gets too much, I like to hide away, listen to some mellow festive tunes, and do something creative.

So if you’ve watched Kirsty Allsop’s attempts to get crafty on TV and thought you’d like to have a go too, try this easy Christmas garland, which I made in just a couple of hours last weekend. I collected the pine cones while on dog walks close to my house, and dried some clementines and limes to add a little colour. The twigs, rosemary and rose hips are from my garden, and the cinnamon sticks, string and red raffia are available from garden centres and craft shops.
1. Prepare your ingredients

Use red raffia or string to tie together small bundles of rosemary, rose hips, and sticks from the garden. Wash cones collected from parks or your garden in warm soapy water, rinse, and then leave them to dry and open up naturally in a warm room. To prepare the clementines and limes (you could use oranges and lemons if you prefer), cut into thick slices, and lay them directly on a shelf in a warm oven, set at about 50°C, for a couple of hours.

2. String ’em up

Lay out your ingredients, arrange them to form a balanced design and then measure out a piece of string twice the length of your garland. Wrap the string around the pine cones to secure them, make holes in the fruit slices with a skewer and thread them on, and carefully tie the other elements together. It is a bit fiddly, so take your time.

3. Display your creations

When all the ingredients are tied together you can either hang your garland from a picture hook or place it over the fireplace (as shown at the top).

Five minute idea

If you don’t have time for a garland, try these easy pine cone Christmas tree decorations instead. They only take a few minutes and are a great idea for children to make. Just twist a length of coloured raffia or string around the cone a couple of times, and tie the ends at the top with a bow. Then use decorative craft spray to add a sprinkling of snow.

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Zia Allaway, Garden Expert

View all posts by Zia Allaway, Garden Expert