Finding a natural solution
The Herb Society of America (HSA) was invited by Lake Metroparks Farmpark to decorate a Christmas tree in their main lobby. The HSA staff decorated the tree this year with many natural, low-cost ornaments.
Many herbs were used to create fabulous ornaments. Excited staff members tucked Artemisia stems and leaves, Allium christophii seed heads, Achillea flowers, Lavandula flowers, Aquilegia seed pods, Hydrangea blossoms, Origanum flowers, Eryngium flowers and sage flowers in among the branches of the Farmpark Christmas tree. These herbs were gathered from the small garden surrounding the HSA headquarters by Helen Tramte, an HSA librarian who also harvested and dried these herbs.
Cinnamon sticks embellished the tree. To make: Simply tie together three cinnamon sticks with a twist tie. Then cover the twist tie with a beautiful ribbon of your choice. Next, if you choose, tie fishing line to the center of the ornament and loop it as if it were a hanger. (You can also use store-bought ornament hangers.)
HSA staff circled the Christmas tree with a string of popcorn. To make: Get fishing line that measures at about 6 feet and string popcorn together.
About 100 cinnamon and applesauce ornaments were crafted as decoration. To make: Stir together 1 cup cinnamon, 1 cup applesauce and 1 tablespoon white glue until dough becomes stiff. Roll into a ball then flatten in between two sheets of wax paper. Cut dough with cookie cutters to create fun, seasonal shapes. Use straw to create a hole for a ribbon hanger. Turn ornaments twice a day until dry. Drying usually takes about five days.
The tree keeps an herbal fragrance with hanging potpourri mixes. To make: Slice oranges. Stud slices with white cloves and dust in cinnamon powder. Next, place your fragrant pomanders in netting and secure with ribbon.
The tree was topped with a large gathering of alliums. Tramte compares their likeness to that of fireworks.
It took the staff a little over an hour to decorate the tree. The tree went on display during the Country Lights event, which sold out. Farmpark is located in Kirtland, Ohio.