Hang a foliage bunch this Christmas

Why not have a change from Christmas wreaths this year?

Eucalyptus and other foliage looks lovely in a simple display.

My front door decorated with parvi stems and a red ribbon this year

Source fresh foliage

If you have a garden, have a look for traditional Christmas sprigs of holly and ivy, or other evergreens like eucalyptus, pittosporum and laurel.

Fresh holly and ivy last well once cut

Tie stems together

Even a budget bunch of dyed dried stems looks great with contrasting ribbon

Simply tie a substantial handful of foliage together with an elastic band, then attach a hanging loop in a bright festive colour such as red or gold. Cover the elastic band with another length of ribbon and tie in a big bow. Don’t forget to tidy the ends! The wider the ribbon, the more luxurious it will look.

Tie a bow

Evergreen foliage is easy to come by even if you don’t have a garden. Buy fresh foliage from your local florist, which should last for the festive season without water. If you’re not sure, ask which foliage sprigs are evergreen, or look for thick shiny leaves.

Dried eucalyptus leaves

For a longer lasting bunch which won’t wilt and could possibly still be useful into the New Year, tried dried or preserved foliage.

These Eucalyptus robusta stems that I dried earlier this year have large leaves in shades of silver through sage
Natural Eucalyptus cinerea dried in my workshop still retains its delicate silvery foliage

Dried foliage is usually natural shades of green in colour and a little crispy to the touch. Natural drying techniques generally entail hanging the stems in a dark, warm, dry place to desiccate over a period of a few weeks. Naturally air-dried leaves like this sometimes retain some of their natural fragrance. Chemically preserved leaves tend to be dyed as part of the process, and each leaf and stem can be more flexible.

Merry Christmas!

Buying dried eucalyptus stems

The foliage bunch shown on my front door was made from Eucalyptus parvifolia dried in my workshop – called parvi for short. I used two bunches. The leaves are smaller and more delicate looking than some of the other varieties and greener.

The two silvery bunches shown are Eucalyptus robusta (large leaves) and Eucalyptus cinerea, again dried by hanging upside down in my workshop. Because I have limited space for drying, demand for all these bunches outstrips supply, so get it while you can!

The green bunch I refer to in the caption as “budget” was dark green dyed eucalyptus we were able to get at a low price for a large bunch (the image shows a single bunch tied with ribbon).

Happy decorating! x

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