My thoughts have turned to decorating the house, and as I’ve decided to try and be as plastic free as possible this year, I’m going to be using mainly plants and flowers. I love the choice of evergreens around at this time of year: snowberries, holly, pine, ivy with its lovely variegated berries, Christmas roses (hellebores) and eucalyptus. Combined with these traditional choices, I’m going to pot up some fresh herbs for my kitchen window ledge, and I’ll put them in old jelly moulds and thick glass jam jars so they’ll be pretty as well as useful for snipping into my soups and seasonal stews. You can even bring them to the table so that people can add their own. My decorating task was made much easier this year by a gift box from Flower Be https://flowerbe.co.uk, a monthly seasonal subscription scheme. Mine contained a beautiful selection of evergreens, birch bark stars, cinnamon sticks, pine cones and little golden apples.
Some of my FlowerBe selection
I added some props of my own and I was ready to start.
All through the year I’m keeping my eye out for vintage finds that I can use at Christmas. I found the old Stilton cheese pot on a bric a brac stall in the summer. The glass jelly mould, planted up with a Christmas rose, came from a car boot sale a few summers ago, and my plate silver condiment set was a flea market find. Silver plated pieces are much cheaper than the real thing, you will only pay a few pounds for them (they usually have the letters EPNS stamped on the back). I don’t polish mine too much, I like a slightly tarnished patina. They’ll reflect candlelight and create an inviting glow.
I keep place settings informal. There will be eight of us this year on Christmas Day squashed around the table. Everything we have is mismatched, there is no grand silverware, glass or china. These rustic birch bark stars scattered on the table and some evergreens will be just right.
Vintage books make cute settings too. This Charles Dickens one was just the right colour – and it is full of Christmas stories.
For pots of fresh herbs to plant into vintage glass containers, try supermarkets for their living herbs. My sage and thyme only cost £1 each. I also supplemented my subscription box with some fresh ivy from the hedgerows, and some figs.