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A S K A G A R D E N E R
by Judy Curtis,
No matter what holidays we're going to be celebrating with family
and friends during this very special time of the year, part of
the fun is figuring out how make our homes say "Welcome". Here
are a few decorating ideas that make good use of our unique
Southwestern plant palette.
Spice up the air in your home. Use creosote branches; they keep
their leaves and remain fragrant when spritzed with water.
Eucalyptus varieties with smaller leaves and citrus also hold up
well, and can add their unique scents to the mix.
Make use of color. Nestle bright red pyracantha berries among
fresh green boughs. Another good source of red is chuparosa,
often in bloom in December with tubular blossoms that smell and
taste like cucumber. Bougainvillea and late roses are also in bloom
this time of year, and come in a variety of colors.
We even have native mistletoe- no need to buy it. Look for
clumps in Palo verde trees .
Flexible vines can be woven into round or heart-shaped wreaths to decorate doors and dining tables.
Cape honeysuckle, grapes, trumpetvine and Tecoma stans are other
good sources of material. They probably need pruning anyway.
I have seen saguaros dressed in Santa hats and beards, and other
imaginative decorations made from tumbleweeds, agave stalks,
and the husks of palm fronds. I've even seen ornaments made from
bottle tree seedpods sprayed gold.
So be creative. Take a walk or drive around town with an alert
eye. Chances are you'll come up with other ideas for inexpensive
and unusual seasonal décor.
Maricopa County Master Gardener Volunteer Information
Last Updated January 25, 2003
Author: Lucy K. Bradley, Extension Agent Urban Horticulture, University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, Maricopa County
© 1997 The University of Arizona, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cooperative Extension in Maricopa County
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