By Emily Malloy
Amaryllis, poinsettias, camellias, (and my personal favorite) paperwhites are some of the many flowers of Christmas. As the majority of the gardens in the northern hemisphere have been put to rest for the year, many of these flowers bloom within the home. In some warmer regions, these wonderful flowers (and others) are bringing color to the diminishing landscape.
Growing up in the countryside of Chester County, Pennsylvania, no Christmas was complete without a visit to the renowned Longwood Gardens just down the road. The world-famous light displays are awe-inspiring, but what always showcased the natural and botanical wonder of Christmas were the gardens within its colossal conservatory. The scent of paperwhites dance through the air as the on-looker is filled with wonder: who knew Christmas adornments could flourish in this way?
We often seek to recapture childhood nostalgia at Christmastime. As the delicate aroma of paperwhites filling the air reminds me of those seemingly magical days, I wanted to incorporate them in my home in an entirely new way. I decided to create small hanging arrangements to tuck into a Christmas tree. Each time I step into the dining room, I am transported back to Longwood Gardens.
The result provides a new way to display the many flowers of Christmas that echo the Savior's coming alongside all of creation, incorporating them with the wonderful traditions of the past.
Note: a sturdy branched tree makes this process much simpler! I hung these on a Virginia Pine, but many traditional fresh trees (and likely most faux trees) should have enough strong branches to hold these arrangements. White pine branches might be too airy to hold these, however.
It is an easy craft to create: all that is needed are miniature jars or cups with a lip at the edge to hold the wire in place. These small Mason jars or Oui yogurt jars are easily acquired and do the job well in keeping the flowers fresh in water!
Using floral wire (I recommend a heavier wire like 16 gauge), we create a wire loop from which to hang the flowers. The process is simple and can be utilized time and again for the hanging of various items.
(1) Wrap the wire around under the lip of the glass, keeping a short length to twist and secure and a long tail to create the loop on the other side.
(2) After wrapping the short side, create a loop over the top of the glass.
(3) To secure it on the opposite side, place the wire tail under the wire wrapped under the glass lip.
(4) Lift the small length of the wire to twist up the loop and secure it on the long hoop. This process works with all glasses with a lip!
All that remains is to find sturdy branches, fill them with water (enough to cover the bottom of the flower stems) and place flowers and turn your own home into a botanical conservatory of wonder!