Southern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

December, 2010
Regional Report

Favorite or New Plant

Festive Herbs
Herbs can trim yule logs, flavor jelly, give fragrance to clusters of twigs or wreaths and perfume the air in stovetop potpourris.

Clever Gardening Technique

Pruning = Decorations
The garden is a treasure trove of possibilities for holiday decorations. Pyracantha berries alternated with popcorn make attractive garlands. Oranges, lemons or apples sprinkled with cinnamon or cardamom and stuck with whole cloves are delightfully fragrant pomander balls. Rose hips add bright red and orange colors to green wreaths. Vines from grapes, honeysuckle, wisteria, willow or ivy will bend into many usable shapes. Eucalyptus pods, pine cones, acorns and magnolia leaf clusters provide many shades of brown. Burford Holly, which grows better here than the traditional variety, gives us "stickery-leafed" green with red berries. And, of course, there's mistletoe.

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