Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Bringing the Outdoors Indoors: Plants in the Home at Christmas


Log fires, blankets, television and far too many chocolates and wine: at Christmas, it’s often easy to hunker down and hibernate, as we shut out the outside and focus on the warmth and comfort of life indoors.  Yet bringing the outdoors inside can be a hugely rewarding and enjoyable feature of the home at Christmas too.

There can be no grander visible symbol of bringing the outdoors indoors than the traditional Christmas tree!  But there are plenty of other subtle ways that you can bring the outdoors indoors, creating a subtle harmony through plants and flowers, whether as decorations, or gifts for loved ones.

Lavender makes a wonderful addition to the home, all year round.  Based within the bedroom, lavender provides a wonderfully soothing aroma and calming effect.  As well as helping to reduce headaches (perfect during a busy party season!), anxiety and even rheumatism when consumed in tea form, lavender can also help to lull you into a deep sleep when the plant is placed in the bedroom, making it the ideal plant for the bedroom, and a perfect present for friends and family.

Mistletoe grows on willow and apple trees, and it is a plant that has strong cultural connotations with Christmas.  Why?  It is supposed to possess mystical powers that bring good luck to the household, warding off evil spirits.  In Norse mythology, it was also used as a sign of love and friendship; hence the Christmas custom of kissing under the Mistletoe.  Whatever you use it for, it makes an aesthetically pleasing addition to the home at Christmas – perfect for bringing some festive cheer.

Herbs also make a great year-round addition to the home.  Based in the kitchen, temperatures and conditions can fluctuate wildly, but herbs are hardy things and there is nothing better than picking fresh herbs to add to dishes, especially at Christmas, when leftovers are ripe for experimentation and flavouring.  Kitchen herb gardens make a great present that any cook will love and cherish.

And finally, what about the humble holly?  Added to conifer twigs, holly is traditionally used as a wreath to display on the front door, but you can create some wonderful centrepieces that last for the duration of Christmas and drape these on shelves, fireplaces or tables to bring some festive merriment into the home.

So there we have it: just a few simple ideas that show how bringing the outdoors, indoors this Christmas can help to both liven up your home, and make some great gift ideas for friends and family.

If you have any additional ideas, we’d love to see them!  Comment on this post or visit the Facebook page.

In collaboration with Betta Living

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