Dressing up a lemon cypress tree with a beautiful birch bark container is a simple but amazing decoration that anyone can do. You don’t need any flower arranging experience at all, but just need to find the right materials and slap them together.
Lemon Cypress is known scientifically as Cupressus macrocarpa ‘Goldcrest’. Native to California, Lemon Cypress thrives in USDA hardiness zones 7 through 10. Fragrant lemon scented foliage sets this evergreen apart from other evergreens and I love to rub the foliage to get a whiff of it. Dwarf varieties do great as an ornamental in small pots. Larger trees are an interesting alternative to the traditional Christmas tree. Thriving best in an indoor location that gets at least five hours of full sun per day, be sure to keep them in a sunny window.
Keep the soil moist but not soaking wet. Feeding on a regular basis with something acidic like Miracid, used for acid loving plants, will keep them happy. Do not over feed them. Especially susceptible to aphids, Lemon Cypress should be sprayed at the first sight of these pests which leave a black, sooty substance on the tree which can occur almost overnight.
Pruning on a regular basis is essential to keep a Lemon Cypress in maintaining their natural pyramidal shape. Pruning is so important, that if the cypress is not pruned it will go brittle quickly and die.
I use Lemon Cypress in Christmas arrangements often as they are a pretty gold color and a beautiful shape. One variation is below. The Cypress tree lends itself to almost anything you want to add from your garden. My Nandina foliage turned an especially pretty red this year and I added this along with the berries. Above, I used Winter Berries, red seeded Eucalyptus, and tiny Alder cones.
Tiny star or snowflake battery-powered lights are easy to add to the tree, fastening the black control box to the back of the birch bark with glue dots. Once finished with your creation, you can place it on a mantle or table top for instant glamour.
Using Poinsettia as Cut Flowers
Picking up an inexpensive Poinsettia from the grocery store and taking them apart to use as cut flowers is a great way to use these long-lasting flowers. Read about them at Poinsettia-History and Legends for a fascinating account of how they have become the worlds most popular flower. To use them, cut the branch off the plant, and sear the cut end with a candle flame, until the milky sap stops flowing. Once seared, place the flower into a water tube or vase, where they last up to two weeks.