Forage Ojai


How to Decorate Your Table for Christmas by Foraging in Your Own Backyard


Part of the fun during the holidays is all of the preparation and planning that goes into the celebration. From the gift wrapping to the decorating, there is always a personal element to the style and design of the holidays. If you’re hosting for the holidays, you can go above and beyond with your table decor by foraging the items yourself from your yard! There is such a large variety of flowers and plants that grow throughout the winter time that you can utilize to forget about the fake flowers from the craft store. Depending on your area, you can find naturally growing wildflowers and leaves in your yard. You can also add to your garden by planting flowers that can tough out the winter. Some plants that can survive winter include:

  • Hellebores - They can grow in white, light green, and even a dark purple-red.

  • Sweet Alyssum - Small white flowers that grow in the shape of a bulb. They are great fillers next to greenery for centerpieces and place settings.

  • Snowdrops - These flowers are white and look like small snowflakes falling.

  • English Daisies - These flowers are great for when you need to add a pop of color. They can be grown in pink, rose, white, or red.

  • Erica - These flowers grow in red, spiny-looking branches that can add a unique pop of color among regular old green branches.

  • Pansy -  Although the name is soft, the flowers are very tough and come in a range of colors depending on where you buy them.

By combining wild flowers with assorted greenery from trees in your yard, and with decorations such as ribbons and ornaments, you can create perfectly foraged designs! Below are ideas for some types of decorations.


One idea for an easy centerpiece could be taking a large glass candle holder, and wrapping  small, flexible tree branches around the base. To hold the branches in place, use ribbon to tied the ends together. Then you can fill the glass jar with either pinecones, ornaments, or a combination of both. Make sure to save space for a candle! You can repeat these steps with smaller glass candle holders and branches, and then use a mix of plain and colorful flowers for the filler.

Table Runner

If you want to liven up a plain table runner, you can lay down branches and twigs from different evergreen trees from your yard. Add filler flowers such as sweet alyssum, English daisies, or other wildflowers available to you. Then add touches of brighter flowers such as hellebores or pansies to add color.

Place Settings

There are a few fun things that you can do with foraged items for place settings. After you set your plates, utensils, and napkins you can add seasonal flowers tied with greenery to give a pop of color. For a more neutral color palette, just tie twine or cream color ribbons around greenery that you find in your yard. This greenery can come from trees such as pine needles, pine leaves, cedar tree leaves, or spruce trees. You could even cut a few branches off of the Christmas tree in your own home! Add small pine cones and mini round ornaments around the greenery for a seasonal touch.

Now that you have these ideas you can go forth and forage for your perfect Christmas table decor.

elizabeth cohn