Cedar Valley Arboretum & Botanic Gardens

Ornamental Horticulture

with one comment


With only a few days left until Christmas, most tree trimming has been done.  But keeping in our December decorating theme, I thought I’d pass along a few tree ornament ideas …. or at the very least, get the creative juices flowing for next year!

The best thing about decorating “naturally” is that there is often little cost involved.  Who doesn’t like that?  Wouldn’t it be fun (Well, “fun” for us gardeners at least!) to decorate a whole tree with dried flowers and fruit, nuts and pine cones?  Two wonderful flowers to use dried are Amaranthus (left photo) and Allium (right photo).

Amaranthus is grown as an annual in Iowa, often from seed sown right into the garden.  The variety grown at The Arboretum is a taller variety that often reseeds from year to year.  Their flashy blooms stand boldly in the garden throughout the season, true to their name as Amaranthus means “one that does not wither” in Greek.  Common names for the flower are Love-lies-bleeding and Tassel flower.    To get an idea of the wide variety with this plant family, search online for images of Amaranthus.  Definitely a fun old-fashioned flower for your garden and will dry lovely.

Allium is probably one of my favorite flowers.  Found in the onion family, this perennial bulb comes in many heights, flower sizes and shades of (mostly) purple.  After the color fades, you are left with this beautiful seed head that will stand in the garden throughout the summer.  They would be beautiful nestled into your tree.  But to add a bit of extra flash, try spray painting the seed head! 

These dried flowers aren’t just for your Christmas tree, either.  You could also make a lovely table centerpiece, winter wreath or present topper … the possibilities are endless.

Happy holidays to you and yours.  See you in the gardens.


Written by cedarvalleyarboretum

December 18, 2009 at 9:49 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. I have made centerpieces with other dead plantlife but have never used this specific plant, thanks for sharing, it sounds like it will be really pretty.

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