Decorating Ideas for the Holidays

Pomegranates are everywhere these days it seems. From culinary uses such as juices, garnishes, and cocktails to clinical health trials for Cancer and Diabetes. Dating back to ancient times, the fruit bearing deciduous trees can be found all over the world. The seeds are easily propagated and, once mature, can grow at temperatures as low as 10 degrees F.
“WOW!” was my reaction when I first saw a holiday orchid arrangement in a client’s home whose theme was pomegranates! Not only did the deep reddish fruit last for weeks but they were readily available in grocery stores. It was a simple idea that anyone could do to add elegance and festivity through the New Year.
I asked the orchid fancier to explain, in her own words, how this lovely pomegranate arrangement came into being.
“Growing up in the North during the winter holidays, my family had their own Christmas traditions and style of decorating our home. We would spend a day in search of that ‘perfect’ tree, place candles in the window sills, scatter poinsettias around, and display a live wreath on our front door with a huge crimson bow.
Upon moving to Virginia, one of our first destinations during the holiday season was Colonial Williamsburg. I could not believe what my senses were experiencing! Decorations using fruit and greens adorned almost every window, door, porch railing, mantel and table top. The aroma of fresh fruit, herbs, and other plant materials was heavenly.
One morning as I was admiring a wooden bowl filled with luscious pomegranates and English Boxwood clippings, I had an epiphany. Why not place an orchid in the center of the bowl as a focal point? I grabbed the first white Phalaenopsis that I could find and began an experiment. After a little rearranging and stuffing, I had it – a beautiful holiday orchid arrangement!”
Pomegranates aren’t the only fruits that can be displayed. Cranberries, lemons, limes, and oranges also work well. Try to get them before they are ripe so they will stay fresh longer.
There are certain fruits to avoid when grouping with orchids. Apples, apricots, avocados, bananas, cantaloupe, kiwifruit, mangos, melons, nectarines, papayas, peaches, pears, plums, and tomatoes release ethylene gas as they ripen which causes orchid buds and flowers to shrivel prematurely.
Most orchid plants in traditional holiday colors (whites, reds, greens) look delightful in any festive arrangement. Phalaenopsis are long lasting and easy to locate but Dendrobiums and Oncidiums are equally successful. Throw in a green lady slipper and a few curly willow branches and watch the party guests clamor.

Saturday, November 1, 2014 - 16:15