Posted 3rd Dec 2015
At the beginning of the year, some woody plants adorn themselves with catkins. Hazelnut is particularly good for making pretty arrangements
Pretty table decorations
For the place setting (right), weave the birch twigs to form a loose wreath, lay on top of a folded fabric napkin together with a few snowdrops and the cutlery, and tie in place with string. For the moss ball, crumple up one or two pages of newspaper to make a compact ball and wrap with fine florist’s twine. Use the same twine to attach the moss. Make another small wreath out of birch twigs, place in a matching clay pot and insert the moss ball. The whole arrangement can then be placed on a piece of bark.
Mix twigs with dainty blooms
Cultivated willow twigs give a hint of what is to come in spring, and stand in pretty contrast to the hazel with their furry catkins. Cut all of the twigs to roughly the same length and form a fat bundle of them. Arrange in a milk jug or a large enamel cup, and finally add the Christmas roses. It is best to bring the hazel in fresh from the garden. These shrubs grow so vigorously that it won’t hurt to cut off a couple of shoots for use in decorations. Shorter sections can be used to make sleeves for plant pots: Place a rubber band around the pot, then slide the sticks underneath, packed tightly together. Tie in place with a piece of string and remove the rubber band.
To make this window wreath (right), bend a long hazel branch into a circlet and fix the ends together with wire. Then weave in more sticks until the wreath has reached the desired thickness. Finally, add the winter jasmine. To keep the flowers alive for longer, cut the end of the shoot off at an angle, and place in an orchid tube filled with water. Attach to the wreath in such a way that the little tube is hidden behind the sticks.
Read the rest of this feature on p.18 of the January/February 2016 issue...