Last year, Helen Tramte, librarian for The Herb Society of America, decorated a 14-foot Christmas tree in the Lake Metroparks Farmpark lobby, located in Kirtland, Ohio. You can re-create her fragrant ornaments with materials harvested from your garden.
• In June, harvest Allium christophii, also known as star of Persia, and store in your garage until December. When you’re ready, simply place in tree.
• Make pomanders by studding 10 to 20 oranges or clementines with whole cloves. Make sure you use plenty of cloves, otherwise the pomanders may rot. Next, dust pomanders with cinnamon, place in a bowl to dry and roll in cinnamon once a day for a week. Last, wrap each pomander in fabric netting so its fresh fragrance can fill the room; tie with a seasonal ribbon.
• Mix 10 to 20 clusters of herbs in fabric netting and tie together with a ribbon. Tramte’s favorite combination is artemisia (Artemisia spp.) and sage (Salvia spp.). She particularly likes pineapple sage (Salvia elegans).
• Combine applesauce, cinnamon and glue to make your own Cinnamon Spice Ornaments.
• Save money. Before you start crafting, scout garage sales and thrift stores for the best deals on ribbon, beading and tools. Happy ornament making!
Gina DeBacker is assistant editor with The Herb Companion.