Spice Up Your Gift-Wrapping Game

Sasha Kodet

Explore these fresh-from-the-garden ideas to sow a more home-style holiday mood.

Creative expression is one of the delights of gardening — and sharing it with others is even better! A gorgeous landscape design, plating culinary garden treats, and crafty endeavors like wreath decorating and natural gift accents are all part of the fun.

Add some natural flair to your gift wrapping with these fresh-from-the-garden ideas.

Gathering tips:

Explore your garden with an eye for natural materials. Remember to ask permission before collecting on others’ property.

  • Check if your plants are toxic and avoid including them in your arrangement, especially if someone has children or pets that might ingest them. Skip any that cause skin irritation or allergies, or any with thorns or prickles.
  • Select evergreen leaves and sturdy seedpods, but feel free to try dainty items or deciduous leaves if they catch your eye. Natural adornments are usually ephemeral, and many are best collected a day or two before use.
  • Acorns or other seeds may have insects inside, so consider placing your materials in the freezer for a few days. I like acorns with little holes so I know the weevil larvae are out! (One year I decorated a large ornament with acorns and hung it over the dining room table with ribbons… you can imagine how that went.)
  • Choose a backbone, filler and accent piece with color and texture in mind.

Ideas for backbone, filler and accent pieces:

You’ll also need some of these:

It’s a busy time of the year, so keep your tools simple and enjoy focusing on the design. Many items can easily be tied in place with yarn, string or ribbon. Pipe cleaners or floral wire are great for wrangling larger pieces and always remember, hot glue is your friend.

  • Hand pruners
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Yarn, string or ribbon
  • Pipe cleaners or floral wire
  • Hot glue

Now you’re ready to bring your vision to life! Let this be a relaxing project — in nature, perfection is rarely found. Enjoy the time outdoors and opportunity to express your creativity!

Yaupon holly berries and acorns catch the eye in a lovely bundle of asparagus fern, cenizo and Yaupon holly leaves.

A Mexican buckeye seedpod adds a rustic feel to an arrangement of oak leaves and acorns.

Liriope leaves and a sprig of rosemary are accented by a Mexican buckeye seedpod and acorns.

The unusual seedpods of butterfly vine and blue grama stand out against the leaves of mountain laurel.

Fallen palm “bark” forms a fragile base for rosemary and the dramatically large acorn of a bur oak.

An olive branch supports the delicate seeds of inland sea oats and butterfly vine.

Colorful yaupon holly is tucked into fragrant rosemary sprigs and topped with a curled-up Pride of Barbados seedpod.

Bright green asparagus fern leaves create a merry background for a textural red yucca seedpod.

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