29 December 2010

Holiday Plants On The Door

The first Nandina (Nandina domestica) was picked up from a neighbor at a plant swap, but died in the winter (the plant, not the neighbor.) Next year, not wanting to be known as a failure, I picked up another and planted. This one survived and this summer produced two small clusters of berries for the first time. The berries started out white and gradually ripened to red in early December.

After years of using holly for holiday decoration, I was anxious to try out the Nandina berries. Holly berries always seem fall off their display onto the floor, roll around to a place you cannot find them, and eventually get squashed. I have not seen Nandina used at Christmas, so was expecting problems.

The two clusters were placed on the front door wreath which ended up more staid and less exuberant this year. The outdoor location exposed the berries to the cold, potentially preserving them longer; and any berries falling off would most likely end up outdoors and not inside on oak floors.

Three weeks later, I am happy to report that the all berries are still together. Other than slightly shrinking a bit, the berries retained their color and attachment. For holiday color, they have the added benefit of numbers over holly berries which are not so numerous.

The other wreath material consists of Fraser fir branches and "pigmy" pine cones. These were picked up decades ago in my upstate New York hometown and brushed with 'White Out' for the snow effect.

Nandina is a poisonous plant, but birds are not affected by the berries. It is also considered a non-native invasive. As a result of underground runners, I now have two new plants waiting for the next plant swap.


Janet said...
Happy New Year to you! Love the berries.
J.C. said...
Nothing beats natural materials for holiday decorating. So nice. Happy new year!