Garden Vine Tree Trimming

There are many decorations unique to Christmas but none as iconic as the Christmas tree.

One of the more interesting, and simple, Christmas tree trimming ideas is to use dried garden vines. This Christmas tree is wrapped in wild grapevines:

 Nice in combination with a bough-covered barnwood garden bench.

What have you used from your garden to trim your Christmas tree?



Garden Bench Boughs

There are simple ways we can use what is already growing in our own gardens besides putting up a Christmas tree. 

In this handmade bench bough, three different locally-growing cedar branches were woven together, giving the bough different textures. The bough was woven with a beige wired ribbon then attached to the top of this barnwood garden bench:

These should last a week to 10 days before the needles dry. Once removed, compost or pile in a garden corner for winter wildlife cover.

Simple, clean and elegant way to quickly give your garden benches a little hint of the holidays.



Painted Santa Gourds

If you still have fall and Thanksgiving gourds around, here is a sweet way to recycle them for the holidays as table decorations and gifts: paint them as Santas.

These should be long-necked gourds, or gourds with at least a separation between a head and body. Here is my favorite to give you inspiration, starting with the tip of Santa's hat!


 Here's the painted gooseneck gourd's gloved hands and back:

Show us your painted Santa gourds, have you tried to paint one?




New Missouri Garden Journal and Calendar Garden Gift Idea

Finding a guide to Missouri gardening used to be almost as hard as finding vintage gardening books in mint condition. "From Seed to Harvest and Beyond: Garden Journal and Calendar" is a brand new, 76-page spiral-bound book written for, and by, Missouri gardeners.

The journal includes graphs for designing gardens, container gardening, planning a flower garden, monthly listing of gardening chores, pages about pests and diseases, and a place to write your own gardening notes.

I ordered one because I wanted to try their planting guide. The one I hand write I can barely read, not that my handwriting in their journal will be any better but at least I will start with something legible.

Cost for the journal $15 each; another $7 for shipping available from University of Missouri Extension. 

To make this a fun garden gift, add something personal – handmade jam or whatever your gift specialty is, or pick up seed packets still available at most garden centers. This time of year they are usually on sale. Most seeds are viable for at least 2 years.

You can also order a lovely free catalog from Baker Seed Company, Marshfield, Missouri. They specialize in rare and heirloom seeds. Their catalog would make a great companion to this garden journal and calendar.


Plantable Wrapping Paper

Between tissue-filled gift bags to brown paper bag wrapping with jute cord, decorating gifts is almost as much of an art form as the gifts, and well wishes, themselves.

In the US, annual trash fro gift-wrap and shopping bags totals 4 million tons, according to Use Less Stuff. Half of the paper America consumes is used to wrap and decorate consumer products, an approximate 25% increase in household waste from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day.

One solution, plantable wrapping paper. I didn't get around to making any so I bought this package from

The paper sheets have flower seeds sandwiched in between. After decorating a gift, and the danger of frost is past in your planting area, the wrapping paper can literally be buried to grow flowers, either in a bed or a pot. Instructions included on each gift tag.

 Now that's a gift that keeps on giving!