Are you real or fake? That is to say, is it a real tree in your living room this Christmas or have you a falsie in the corner? I would love a real tree but I am tight on space in Fox Hollow so I have a slim line artificial tree. That leads to one massive problem. The smell of Christmas is missing. That fresh, clean scent as you walk in the door, that cannot be replicated by any candles, room sprays or pot pourri.
To tackle this I decided to look around my garden and see if I couldn’t get some gorgeous scents in to the living room while creating a statement garland for the mantel. It turns out there is loads of freebies out there.
Here is my quick and easy guide to creating your own garland. You will need:
- Oasis blocks
- Oasis drip trays
- A few artificial sprigs (optional)
Firstly gather a few armfuls of greenery from your garden, your mum’s garden, the woods, wherever you won’t get in to trouble for taking a few sprigs. Try and use a variety of textures and shades of green. Soak it for at least 24 hours in a bucket to make sure it’s as saturated as it can be.
Soak the oasis blocks right through in a container for a full minute. Then lay out your sprigs, trim the ends and any off shoots. Consider the shapes that your branches are forming.
I decided that my primary greenery would be rosemary, as I have loads of it growing in the herb garden. Plus it has that fresh piney scent I am looking for. Then olive branches, ivy and rhododendron. I bought two bunches of sea holly from Aldi (€2.99) and I had a five artificial silver dollar sprigs from Meadows and Byrne (€2).
I decided to group the foliage instead of mixing it. Ivy at the ends, olive branches for height on the two outer blocks and then rosemary in the middle under the mirror. I used rhododendron leaves along the front to hide the oasis.
Then I filled in the bald spots with more rosemary. Finally I popped in the sea holly for height and colour, adding silver dollar sprigs for brightness.
It’s yet to be seen how long it will last. We don’t light the stove every night at present, but over Christmas we will be lighting it more, so the heat may effect it. But it’s a work in progress, sprigs can always be swapped out.
Best of all, it is smelling amazing. So give it a try yourself, it’s so easy.