My Tree al Naturale

This year the Canaan Fir will get dressed with mostly garden finds.

I have collected from my yard both Pee Gee Hydrangea and Endless Summer Hydrangea. The Pee Gee is the dried brown and the Endless Summer is the lime green.

Lime button mums are added. I will see if they retain the color since they are only partially dried. The sticks you see are red curly willow.

The tree looks almost artificial, especially dressed in dried florals.

Not so lucky Endless Summer

I am keeping this tree relatively simple. I will show the tree in context when I get the rest of the dining room in order. I am decorating so many other spaces, that it is hard to get mine finished.

The living room trees and mantle are finished and are sporting so many woodsy items along with so many pine cones you will almost not believe it. I mass decorations like I did on the mantle in 2009. Only this year the mantle is really decked out al naturale.

To keep the consistency of design between adjoining spaces, I have retained the theme. Like last year’s flowers jumping spaces, this year the ‘garden finds’ does the same.

The way to get a theme going is to gather like items and add to the group. These items below are some of the items on the living room tree and mantle. Start a group and find textures, colors, and forms that have a similar feel. Then take it up a notch and add an opposite for punch. Maybe shiny glass, light blue eggs would be cool in the nest.

After I get in all the natural items, I throw in the sparkle. What is Christmas without a bit of sparkle? Remember, bounce the light. I used green glittered pears and apples to keep the theme authentic. The curly willow weaves the tree like ribbon or garland.

You can see the real effect of adding branches to the tree. It adds texture and visual interest.

This image really shows how curly the willow is. Even though the living room trees sport pine cones, I did not use them in the dining room. Why? Because the textural quality, color and form are similar to the hydrangea.

The hydrangea is much more delicate, but it gives the same feel when added to this tree. The living room trees have a different feel. It is a much more masculine feel.

I was joking to another blogger that I might add gnomes because they would feel right at home in these trees.

Add a wild edge and you have got a Christmas worth a whinny, sorry a bray. Just didn’t sound as poetic.

Be sure to look back through my latest posts to see the various designs and designs tips. A craft and a volunteer job. Christmas is here at GWGT all season. We are  off to the farm again next post… see you then!


About Garden Walk Garden Talk

I love to photograph, paint, draw, design, garden, travel the world, and pass on a few tips and ideas that I learned through experience as a Master Gardener and architect. I am highly trained in my field and enjoy my work each and every day. I garden in Niagara Falls, NY in zone 6-B. Find me at:
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18 Responses to My Tree al Naturale

  1. lifeshighway says:

    Donna. I am blown away by your talent as a designer. The blogging world is full of amateurs, wanna bees and people who like yard art. When I come across a professional who is willing to spend the time and effort to education the masses, I feel honored for your time.

    The tree is beautiful, the lighting sets it off to its best advantage.

    Just wow.

  2. PatioPatch says:

    Dear Donna – love the natural look. Very clever festive designs, especially nice since they are tinted with other seasons – your eternal summer hydrangea and the promise of Spring with the cute bird and nest.


  3. Lovely, Lovely! Love the subtly and textures. I would like to see it with the lights out too. . . in natural daylight! Beautiful.

  4. You have inspired me to use some natural ornamentation on my tree and branch out to the mantle. thanks for your design tips. Carolyn

  5. Oh, Donna. Will you come to my house? I haven’t even gotten the stuff out of the attic yet. I love your tree and your hints and tips. But I deeply admire the way you have broken free of the conventional tree fashions and done your own, beautiful thing. I wonder what would happen to me if I left all those childhood ornaments and family “treasures” off the tree this year? 🙂

  6. Tatyana says:

    Wonderful tree! I love it!

  7. nelle howard says:

    I may just have to use some of your ideas for this year’s tree. I have some shiny red hawthorn berries that would add some nice color.

  8. Dear Donna, you are quite amazing. Thanks for sharing your sparkling personality and talents with us. Not sure what my problem is this year but I seem to be stuck in November, so unlike me. December is my favorite month. I was born in December and came home from the hospital on Christmas day in a Christmas stocking . I gave birth to a son on Christmas night. Your posts are inspiring… gotta go get my tree. I can do this, I can do this.

  9. One says:

    Donna, This is the most beautifully decorated Christmas tree, ever. I like the natural woodsy look especially those thin crooked twigs that juts out. You have great taste and it is very generous of you to share those tips. Thank you.

  10. Eliza says:

    I’ve never seen anything like this! The hydrangea blooms are a perfect addition and I would never have thought of them with a winter theme. Beautifully done!

  11. Cat says:

    You are such a lucky girl to have the hydrangeas from this season to dry – I was at the craft store a couple of days ago pricing them and they are just too pricey to add to my tree this year 😦 I’m going to have to find some other naturals to amend with…not sure what yet. Your post was very inspiring. Like Meredehuit, I’m having trouble getting motivated – still have all my fall decorations up. I bought some Christmas napkins to make curtains with for the kitchen window hoping to get a little Christmas cheer going. I think today is the day!

  12. Dear Donna, Your tree is the most lovely I have ever seen! You have a great gift … not least the gift of putting everyone in the Christmas spirit. P. x

  13. One of my favorite ways to decorate a Christmas tree is with natural (or outdoorsy looking) elements mixed in so that the tree looks like it would be as comfortable outside as inside 🙂 I can’t wait to see your tree from a few steps back to appreciate it all. Beautiful work! Don’t work too hard!! Sounds like you’re a very busy girl!

  14. patty says:

    The warm glow that is emitted from each photo is lovely. You certainly have a lot of talent. Al naturale is definitely the way to go.

  15. Patsi says:

    Using the curly willow adds so much to your arrangemnets.
    I understand Endless Summer Hydrangea is one of the best to have in the garden.
    Looks like your having a wonderful time decorating…all looks grand.

  16. I want to thank everyone commenting today. I have been so busy working at the Christmas Tree Farm and I am now at home making swags to sell for their big weekend. I had the flu yesterday and needless to say, got behind on my wreath making. I will take photos at the farm tomorrow and hopefully, post them Saturday night for Sunday. I talk so much about this part of my job and very little about my design work in architecture and landscaping, but as you can imagine, that has slowed down for the season. My commercial designs are getting installed now, so not as much for me to do there. That is why I help my friend at the farm. It is such a different kind of design and much more relaxing. Just now, for the big weekend, I am working my little butt off. All your comments are so appreciated and Meredehuit, I have to see that image of you in the stocking!!! It must be so darling. Christmas is really special for you and your family with all the December babies.

    Carol, I will post a photo with the lights off, but I can never get good shots like you do. And Elizabeth, I certainly would if I could. I need a vacation and anywhere new will do.

  17. Donna, I love your naturally themed tree, it’s just beautiful. My tree isn’t up yet, but very much leans toward the fall rust and copper tones, I just never thought of bringing the outside inside that way. Beautiful job. I hope your flu is subsiding!

  18. Karen says:

    Donna, you have the most amazing talent. The trees are fantastic, and you’ve inspired me to try something different this year.

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