A cold crisp Monday morning, five presents awaited us. Five Norway Spruce, each tightly bundled and trussed like a Christmas turkey, lay awaiting their festive wrapping. Yes it’s that time of year again, Christmas is upon us, and it’s time to get decorating!
I think we sometimes begin to forget how closely associated we are with nature, how nature always provides for our needs. Be it for the plate or for decoration Mother Nature always has something up her sleeves .She does not limit her present giving to one season, from the first daffs of the spring to the tonnes of tantalising tomatoes of the summer, she puts Santa Claus to shame!!!
As the winter takes full hold, it’s often difficult to muster the enthusiasm to venture outdoors, but Christmas allows us to bring the outside in inside (we put a tree in the house for goodness sake), bringing the beauty of the garden into our homes and a little joy to our hearts.
The Lodges resident florists’ guide to decoration is to keep it simple. Stick to a theme .Here we work with natural materials of a gold, green and burgundy scheme, featuring these colours in the festive festooning of The Lodge. Greenery from the garden, hessian bows, and the odd glittery embellishment are all tied together by gentle candlelight as neatly as a Christmas pressie!
The gardens have provided the foundations for the merriment of The Lodge, evergreens the base of the festive decorations, from the welcoming wreaths to the glamorous garlands that adorn the fire places. There is such variety among the greens, from the long fan like sprays of mossy pines to dark stubby Yews. Bay is a handsome leaf, its official title, Laurus nobilis, is very appropriate for use during this noble season.
Bare branches can be as festive as those decorated. The vivid red of Cornus siberica and the twisted wand like stems of contoured hazels cast a spell over this magical season.
But Christmas would not be Christmas without holly and ivy. Ilex acquifolium’s glossy red berries have become as iconic as Rudolph ruby red nose. Hedera helix dark glossy leaves and seed heads draped about the house are much more elegant than gaudy tinsel. The plump glossy hips of Rosa rugosa, and the knobbly pine cones of conifers are natures answer to shine baubles.
So as we hang the last of the wreaths on The Lodges doors, the bedecking complete, we are reminded that everything in life cyclical. The cycle of the year, the cycle of the seasons and the cycle of the garden as we plant the last of the bulbs this week we know spring is just around the corner.
So I suppose all that’s left to say is “Merry Christmas” from all at Virginia Park Lodge.