Holiday decor in the time of Covid

Amaryllis ‘Wedding Dance’ and Begonias with cut greens and lights

Yep, this year is different. Fear of Covid has canceled holiday gatherings, and the urge to go all out with decorating is met by some with the question, “should I bother?” The answer is yes, even if it must be simple. This year, we absolutely need to illuminate the long nights with strings of lights and candles, but maybe we can take a break from lugging boxes of Christmas ornaments from the attic. (The thought of putting it all away is a chore no one relishes!) Instead,  we’ll focus on bringing nature indoors with decor that is  gathered from the garden and (lucky us) , the greenhouse.

Succulents in shades of red, green and white sit on a tray with gathered moss. Even the Aloes have festive names: the tiny one in the foreground is ‘Christmas Sleigh’, just behind it is  Aloe ‘Blizzard’, with blue green Echeveria setosa dimunata flanking on either side.

a brilliant Guzmania with red spikemoss

fresh evergreen wreath cut from conifers in the garden.

So, yes to winter wreaths on doorways, garlands, and arrangements of cut branches with pine cones. Yes to forced pots of Amaryllis, Christmas roses and red and green leaved Begonia. We may bring in a potted evergreen from the nursery and simply dress it with lights. Some classic holiday music will set the mood, along with the scent of cookies baking in the oven.

catch early morning light in the garden

a fire brings light and warmth

a fire brings light and warmth to end the day

This may be the year when we can’t physically gather with friends and family, but we can find peace and hope in nature’s gifts. Be outside as much as possible: take an early morning walk to catch the bird song or build a fire at dusk. Perhaps these simple ways of acknowledging the season,  more akin to the ancient winter festivals of northern Europe, will become a new tradition.

bottom lighting sets off this white Amaryllis

Peace and joy to you all!

Stay well!

10 thoughts on “Holiday decor in the time of Covid”

  1. Thank you for your wonderful and thoughtful emails. I am so very happy that I found your garden this past year. It is a magical place. Your love of plants, your garden, and horticultural knowledge presented itself every placed I looked as I strolled the garden. Thank you! Avant Gardens is unique, not showy or pretentious, just excellent plant material, great ideas, sound and honest advice, and fair pricing.
    Happy Holidays!

  2. Thank you Sheila for your kind words and for visiting us. We’ve tried over the years to distinguish our nursery and gardens from others in a playful, sometimes experimental ways, but that is what makes us original. Our goal is to inspire you to create the garden of your dreams that is environmentally sensitive and one you long to be in. Fussy no, but perfect in the way it helps you embrace nature. Stay well!

  3. I totally agree with Sheila! The south and west facing windows here are packed with quality succulents from Avant Gardens (and a cat or two). They are all such a joy at this time of year. Avant Gardens is a “ must visit” every year- I am so fortunate to be in SE MA- Succulents and Seafood… a true win-win! Looking forward to Spring and the S &S return!

  4. Thank you, too, for posting about Blithewold. A nice, safe roadtrip from Cape Cod. A bit of almost normal!

  5. Hello Katherine,
    Thank you for this reassuring post. This year we decided to forgo on the tree and ornaments and focus on the spiritual and light. It is reflective and healing but still celebratory.
    This past season I came for a visit after the early planting frenzy and walked the the nursery and garden areas there. I was thrilled with all the perennials and annuals I brought home. I am looking forward to my visit next year, hopefully this time with friends. Thank you for offering more unusual and well researched plant material. Your nursery is truly a place of discovery.
    My Best Wishes for Peace and Joy to All there in the coming year.

  6. Really enjoyed the photos of the” early light in the garden” and the “fire by moonlight”.. do you have a calendar for 2021??? Are you shipping amaryllis bulbs… I’m in NC really wish I could visit your gardens..

  7. Maria, I know that families with small children will want to be more traditional with tree and trimmings, but I totally agree with you about the restorative qualities of light in these dark days. Thank you for your kind words, and stay well.

  8. Diane, my next profession will be a nature photographer…I can totally lose myself capturing light of even the simplest subjects. Maybe next year, a calendar! I wish i could ship some of Amaryllis bulbs but they are already at the bud stage, and I’m afraid they may get damaged in transit. Will consider this next year, and make an offer early. They truly are one of the easiest bulbs to force and care for.

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