Natural charm

might not be the most productive season, but there’s plenty of material in the garden to make festive decorations for brightening up both your indoor and outdoor space. Collect sprigs of evergreen foliage, colourful stems, berries, fruit, pine cones, seed heads and attractive of slivers bark and combine with ribbons, baubles and beads to embellish Christmas trees, windows or plants in the garden.

Natural decorations are far easier on the eye than artificial ones made from glass, or worst of all, plastic. There are endless possibilities to what you can create, and you can make decorations as elaborate or simple as you like. For example, if you’re feeling dextrous try threading beads onto ribbon, then secure to a pine cone to make a pendent for an indoor tree; for something easier, take three chilli peppers and tie the tops with ribbon.

Make the most of pyracantha berries, crab apples, cranberries and other types of garden fruit. They are easily threaded onto lengths of wire and are fairly long lasting, especially if you display them outdoors, where cooler temperatures will help to preserve them. Whether you copy some of ideas here or have a go at inventing your own, make enough decorations so they provide the intended wow factor.