Traditional Christmas plants are those that stand out during winter. This may surprise but it reflects the timing of the celebration of Christmas in mid-winter in the northern hemisphere.
Evergreens such as mistletoe, holly (which has red berries in winter), ivy, fir, and spruce are all associated with a winter Christmas celebration.
In Australia, gardens are in summer mode for Christmas and there’s still plenty of choice for both flowers and foliage.
But after reading the headline I’m guessing that most of us are thinking that planting this time of year is impractical and of no concern considering our weather conditions and the challenges our community has faced recently. This is true in many respects and conserving water in particular is a major priority and needs to be upheld in our community. The current situation however doesn’t have to impede on one of the most family cherished days of the year. The table decorations, potted gifts and favourite plants that make it an Aussie Christmas can still be a part of your day with the use of hardy choices and the occasional use of grey water where necessary which most of us seem to be utilizing already.
Some splashes of Christmas colour for thought include:
Native Christmas Blooms
There are native Christmas flowers to enjoy over the festive season. New South Wales Christmas bush (Ceratopetalum gummiferum) is a local native plant available as cut flowers or colourful potted plants for an Australian-themed Christmas. Johanna’s Dwarf is particularly suited to pots growing only a 1m.
New Zealand contributes an evergreen shrub to Christmas in the form of the New Zealand Christmas tree or pohutukawa (Metrosideros excelsus). It is smothered with crimson brush-shaped flowers during summer and can add a real festive feel to the garden. For small spaces or containers, select dwarf cultivars such as Little Ewan.
Flowering in summer gardens are agapanthus, fuchsia, ‘Big Red’ and ‘Big Pink’ geraniums, roses, salvia, hibiscus, hydrangea and many others.
Potted flowering plants such as these are in full bloom this time of year. They bring instant colour indoors, on balconies or at the front door for temporary festive decoration.
Also look out for pots of petunias and other advanced annuals to introduce instant colour to the garden or to dress containers including hanging baskets.
African Violets are popular for their beautiful dainty flowers that come in whites, purples, mauves, pinks and two tone colours. They’re a joy in the household and make a handy gift as they’re perfect for growing indoors on windowsills or a well-lit space. They take up very little room and provide delightful, cheery flowers over many months.
These suggestions make great festive decorations and invite a bit of Christmas in the house without the need of constant attention and most importantly regular water; they’re certainly manageable in drought conditions where potted inside or around the house.
Merry Christmas from all the team at Wingham Nursery
02 65534 570