A Guide to Eco-friendly Festive Floristry


Florence Robson


From the Christmas tree brightening up your living room, to the wreath adorning your front door, plants and flowers are a crucial part of any festive display. Luckily, while our gardens might look a little less colourful at this time of year, there are plenty of plants that thrive during the colder months and can be adopted as natural table or mantlepiece decorations.

Two women who know the power of a well-chosen flower are Hanna and Mollie, the talents behind Dorset-based florist café, Pamplemousse. As well as offering beautiful bouquets (and delicious coffee and cake!) in their shop in Shaftesbury, Pamplemousse also creates elegant floral displays for weddings. Their signature style? “Luxury and seasonal, focusing on bringing the outside in.”

After a morning spent creating two beautiful table displays at The Beckford Arms, we asked Mollie and teammate Eliza to share their tips for dressing your home sustainably this festive season.

Take advantage of dying foliage

While you might be seeking out more vibrant colours, don’t overlook the plants that are beginning to die out. “At this time of year, the hedgerows are filled with fern and bracken that can make a beautiful counterpoint to pine branches and flowers”, says Mollie. “Because these plants are already drying out at this time of year they will last much longer than freshly-picked flowers.”

Use fruit and seeds to add an elegant splash of colour

Rose hips remain on the plant long after the blooms have faded and are generally abundant at this time of year. “While the most common rose hips are red or orange, you can also find purple, brown or even black ones”, says Eliza. “We love to use delicate stems dotted with rose hips to create movement and colour, placing them on top of branches to add height to a centrepiece.”

Fruit is also an inexpensive and eco-friendly way to add visual interest to any display. If you’re drying citrus slices to use as decorations, place the sliced fruit directly onto the oven rack after cooking supper to make the most of the residual heat (make sure the oven is turned off first).

Use herbs for an evocative scent

Herbs such as rosemary, thyme and bay thrive during winter and will dry well too. Simply snip a few branches of your favourite herbs from your garden, if you have them, or even source them from your local supermarket. Eucalyptus should also be readily available from your local florist during the winter season and fits seamlessly into almost any display.

Choose reusable bindings

The Pamplemousse team rely on simple, undyed twine to keep their bouquets together. “It can be reused or composted, plus it’s easy to disguise”, says Mollie. For more complex displays with fresh flowers, swap out single-use wet foam for chicken wire and water.

Timing is everything

Avoid any unnecessary waste by selecting plants and flowers as close to the date of your celebration as possible. “While pine branches can last months hung on your door as a wreath, they have a much shorter lifespan when used inside”, explains Eliza. This is especially true of branches hung over fireplaces. “If you light your fire regularly, the leaves will crisp up – not the effect you want!”.


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