Christmas Tips & Fun


Learn interesting, unusual, unique and useful facts and tips about Christmas and the winter holiday season, in America and around the world.


Decorating for Christmas

A Christmas Garden: Grow
Your Own Decorations

A

fter Christmas, when the seed catalogs start coming in the mail, have you thought about planting a Christmas Garden?

It doesn’t have to be big, or elaborate, but it can be fun to do and, on occasion, an educational challenge.

You could think of planting plants that would work in projects – such as wreath making or centerpiece design. Artemisia is one of these – or, actually, several of these. Artemisia is a generic name for plants such as mugwort and silver king, tarragon and wormwood.

Silver artemis, for instance, can grow up to three feet high and, as its name implies, adds a distinct color element to your garden. It can then can be dried to a silvery white. It should best be woven into wreath shape before it dries.

Tarragon has a lot going for it, not only as an aromatic addition (it smells sort of like licorice) to a dried wreath but as an herbal addition to your kitchen. In the garden it can grow as high as five feet – but it’s normally a more manageable two-three feet. It has green leaves and they tend to stay that way after they’ve been dried. Another name for tarragon is dragon herb and early on it was thought to cure snakebite. An added benefit of tarragon is that many garden pests like neither its taste nor its smell so it acts as a natural protector for its neighboring plants.

Wormwood is another "project plant" with grey-blue leaves that look good in dried arrangements. It can be harvested in August and September and actually dried in a vase as opposed to having to hang its stalks upside down in the attic or garage. It can also, according to its historical use, repel fleas and other unwanted critters.

Written by Dianne Weller
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