Red or white amaryllis as cut flowers make simple, but dramatic holiday compositions. The large trumpet-shaped blossoms arranged with greenery in a clear glass vase about 10 inches high look sophisticated, but uncluttered. Foliage like leatherleaf fern, seeded eucalyptus, myrtle or sprigs of local evergreens draws attention to the flowers. About one inch of coloured marbles or stones at the bottom of the vase not only look good but also are essential as a counterweight to amaryllis’ heavy stems and flowers. Amaryllis stems usually sell in three-stem packages. Consider sharing one package with others. Purchase greens by the stem or cut them locally. Purchase marbles or stones by the bag or pound. Replace water in vases and recut stems at frequent intervals to ensure arrangements that will last for several weeks.
Poinsettias or holiday cacti
Three 4″ to 6″ diameter pots of poinsettias or holiday cacti arranged in holiday containers make cheerful arrangements. Use shallow 10 to 14-inch diameter baskets, round casserole-type dishes or 14 to 17-inch wooden Santa’s sleighs. Choose red poinsettias or holiday cactus for a traditional look, or the newer white, pink or striped varieties for a contemporary dramatic appearance. Buy a suitable container at the supermarket or use one from home. If using a personal container, take it along to the store to be certain the chosen potted plants fit the container and look attractive. Do not forget to remove the pots of flowers from the container before watering. Allow thorough draining before returning them. These arrangements will with careful watering usually last through January and into February.
Three-foot-high containerised living needle-leaf evergreens can be good Christmas tree alternatives. Kinds available include junipers (Juniperus chinensis ‘Blue Point’), Dwarf Alberta Spruce (Picea glauca ‘Conica’), and varieties of spruce (Picea spp.), pine (Pinus spp.), and fir (Abies spp.). Place the tabletop Christmas tree in a 10 to 12-inch diameter plastic-lined basket large enough to cover the nursery container. Decorate with small ornaments.
Other suggestions include jingle bells hung by coloured ribbon or pipe cleaners, or squares of tulle or holiday-themed cellophane gathered together with pipe cleaners. Find pipe cleaners and ribbon at craft shops. If possible, remove the tree with its container from the basket before watering. Allow thorough draining before returning to the basket. To keep furniture safe, place a flat waterproof plate beneath the basket. After the holidays, these little trees thrive on a cool porch or entryway. Keep well watered. In the spring, transfer to a larger pot for use as a porch or patio plant.