DECK THE HALLS WITH BOUGHS OF HOLLY
While I love decorating the house for Christmas, I have learned over the years that "less is more". I used to hang something on every door, cupboard and drawer knob, and drape or position something on nearly every level surface.
It was when I realised that some of those things were still there in March - and no one had noticed - that I decided to go more for impact. Just a few of the more twee and fiddly items get brought out, and others will "have their turn" next year.
There are, of course, one or two things I am quite sentimental about like the Klu Klux Klan Santa I wrote about in an earlier posting. There is also the little music box cottage which plays "Jingle Bells" while Santa, on the end of a wire, rotates around the chimney top. This was given to us by a dear friend over 30 years ago, and has undergone numerous repairs over the years.
One thing that is very important to me is to fill the house with greenery for Christmas week.
I go up to the woodland to collect branches of Ochna (Mickey Mouse plant) which still has just a few of its characteristic red and black berries at this time of year. This is the nearest thing to holly I can find.
Then I gather stalks of parsley which is usually "in flower" in December. Bernie says it has just gone to seed and should be pulled out like a weed - but unless I let it go through its lifecycle, how will we get new young plants? Anyway, the parsley flowers are very pretty and star-like, and their bright yellow/green colouring is very Christmassy.
By December, the silver Artemesia has begun to send up tall shoots also, and the soft grey/white of these provides a contrast. By February they will have their tiny flowers and I will be using these for the bookmarks.
Finally, I add some artificial flowers - red and yellow poppies and tall white daisies. There are very few showy flowers in our gardens at this time of year, but the fake ones look fine among the greenery.
All the big vases come down from the top shelf , and in a short while, I am all ready for Christmas!