Monday, December 3, 2012

Non-Traditional Festive Holiday Plants

I’ve been on the lookout the past few years for more creative ways to use beautiful plants (full disclosure: it’s my job to promote Oregon’s plants!). I’ve made and planted troughs with friends—love them!—and tried my hand at using topiaries to add a festive look to my driveway and deck (see above photo). I’ve also made terrariums—with moderate success but it’s easy to take out plants that didn’t do so well and add new plants—and planted a variety of containers with a variety of plants for indoor use.

I have several succulent plantings that rest on my living room fireplace hearth. One is a planting that Linda Meyer created (Linda is a landscape designer who is working with J. P. Stone Contractors to create one of the Showcase Gardens at the Yard, Garden & Patio Show, Feb. 8-10). She started with a small ceramic container that I found at Goodwill, added a little potting soil, created a few planting pockets for succulents, and used small stones turned on their sides to create a visually interesting “paving.” The second planting is in a small concrete urn that includes my favorite agave: “Blue Glow.” The succulents are doing quite well in the house so far (they were outside during our warmer weather and will probably go outside again next year when the rains stop).

I’ve been searching for holiday uses of live plants and wanted to share what I found with you. The Better Homes & Garden newsletters often have good ideas, but Pinterest is also a good source of ideas, as is Martha Stewart’s website.
Boxwood and wire stars add charm. Photo:
The decorating possibilities on a spiral are endless!
Mossy green, white and subtle sparkle add life to a holiday table. Photo:
Turn a punch bowl into a mini forest. Photo:
For an indoor wreath use houseplant ferns. Photo:
Create a miniature forest for year round appeal with dwarf conifers. Photo:
Create a little forest centerpiece. Photo:
Blue star juniper stars in this container. Photo:

I hope you’re inspired think about plants a little differently and see how they can add joy and beauty to your life inside and outside your home.


  1. Oh happy day you have a favorite agave! Even one with spikes....

  2. Yep. I can't believe I like a spiky plant. The color of the agave is irresistible.