Gardening in Texas: Part 11 – Incorporate Your Garden into the Holidays

By Ebony Porter, November 11, 2016, Green

Welcome to Gardening In Texas from Bounce Energy! We hope this series will steer you in the direction of planting a green Texas garden with a eco-friendly lifestyle in mind. We’ll discuss shaping a garden that uses less water, grows in harmony with animal and insect life in the area, and provides you with more than just a pretty view.

With the arrival of the holidays comes an opportunity to share the fruits of your gardening labor in fun and creative ways!

From gift-giving and decorating, to including the bounty of your garden into your cooking, we share our favorite ways to fold your Texas garden into your holiday celebrations.

Holiday Cooking with Your Garden

Gardening in Texas: Incorporate Your Garden into the Holidays | Bounce Energy Blog

With family and friends gathering to eat fresh wholesome food this time of year, plan your contributions and dishes around what you’ll be able to harvest at that time. Nothing says love as much as eating locally – and from your own garden, at that!

Gardening in Texas: Incorporate Your Garden into the Holidays | Bounce Energy Blog

Other tasty options include:

  • Add fresh herbs to your dressings and stuffing.
  • Cut sprigs of rosemary and oregano for the cavity of your roast turkeys and chickens.
  • Fresh sage is a beautiful addition to roasted potatoes, or it can be chopped and rubbed on a pork loin before roasting.
  • Create a dried blend of chopped rosemary, parsley, oregano, and sage. This is a great herbal blend for coating potatoes or seasoning a chicken or turkey before roasting.

Holiday Decorating with Your Garden

Bringing nature into your home during the holidays not only freshens up the air, but makes the indoor environment warm and earthy during these colder months.

Gardening in Texas: Incorporate Your Garden into the Holidays | Bounce Energy Blog

If you have a pine tree on your property, which grow exceptionally well in Texas, bring branches into the home, and lay them on tables for decor. You can also string them up around the tops of doors, framing entry ways with a natural garland. Use their pine cones as decorations in baskets, and add a bit of zing to them by painting them silver, gold, or white.

Gardening in Texas: Incorporate Your Garden into the Holidays | Bounce Energy Blog

I also love taking branches of lemon trees this time of year and building a natural wreath.

  • Locate branches at least 3 feet long.
  • Begin to curve and shape them into a circular form.
  • Using florist wire, wrap the pieces together in a circular shape until you have a strong wreath.
  • Decorate with a fresh piece of wide ribbon, and hang on your living room wall, in place of a hanging photo for the duration of the season.

You can also use grapevines or long branches from a bay tree, as they hold up really well once dried. You can even use the dried leaves on the wreath to cook throughout the year.

Gift Giving from Your Garden

Gardening in Texas: Incorporate Your Garden into the Holidays | Bounce Energy Blog

And thanks the to warmer weather in Texas this fall, you actually CAN get out into your garden in short sleeves!

Forget online shopping or heading to the store to gather your gifts for this year. Visit your garden, and get creative with what you find. Homemade gifts are the loveliest way to give, and it’s a way to share your hard work with loved ones.

  • Consider giving your friends who love to cook a fresh bouquet of herbs. Wrap them with a beautiful ribbon after you’ve cut them. Keep their stem bottoms in water until you’re ready to present them.
  • If you grow lavender, pick them while in bloom, and hang them upside down to dry. Then, using pure cotton or linen, cut small pockets out, fill them with dried flowers, and sew them up. You can add some additional scent to these wardrobe satchels by putting a few drops of essential oil on them before giving.
  • Harvest fresh herbs and hang them upside down to dry. Once dried, pluck the leaves and toss them into a blender. Fill small jars with this herb blend and give them as gifts!
  • Go really “old-fashioned” by filling a basket with items from your harvest, from fresh greens to ripe lemons and fresh herbs. It will be a gift from the heart, and one they’ll remember.

Do you have any recommendations on how to use the wonderful contents of your Texas garden during the holidays? Share with us in the comments!

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About 

Born in Australia, Ebony has been in Texas long enough to consider herself a Texan-Aussie. Ebony has been writing for magazines, newspapers, and blogs, for more than 10 years. When she's not writing she's building quilts, growing her own food, or camping with her family somewhere far from the sounds of the city.

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