5 ways to do Christmas Putnam style. . .

...And five other useful tips you can use anytime of the year from our Color Flower Guide authors

Christmas Putnam style


If you have a minimal home decor setting bring in a lot of greenery. Try bay or olive leaf which is easily available this time of year.

In a traditional Christmas colour scheme we also love using pomegranates, red Ilex berries, and Ligustrum, a black berry that holds well in arrangements.

Use three different elements in your Christmas decoration: some type of greenery, maybe a smaller filler flower and a statement larger bloom. 

Try amarylis which is around this time of year for your statement flower. The ratio should be one third in the vessel and two thirds out. When you buy the flower, hold it up and see how well it holds on its own. 

Citrus colours are especially fun in an urban environment - bright yellows and oranges. Incorporating fruit is fun. We normally go for cumquats or tangerines or lemons on the branch in the arrangements. Use an odd number three or five. 


If you have a round table stick to a centrepiece or a selection of centrepieces. But for rectangular tables go for a garland. And a DIY garland for the mantelpiece is a fun project with different greens from the season.

Some flowers open up better in warm water. Roses for instance - put them in warm water for a little while before transferring to cold. But don’t use warm water on anything with a soft stem because it encourages bacteria growth.

When buying don’t be afraid to ask the vendors when they will open. We often get flowers into the studio a few days before an event to give them time to open and be at their best. You should feel the flower petal if it’s really soft it means that it’s probably old. It won’t last through Christmas. Look at the stem and the leaves at the bottom of the stem if they’re mushy your flower will die quicker. 

When you get your flowers home take the bottom leaves off the stem because you want the water to go to the flower head. Leave a couple of leaves on the top for beauty.

Avoid strong smelling flowers on your dining room table. No lilies! And don’t’ put them near a heater or in a draft!


Use beautiful pitchers to hold your flowers. Different ones with different florals around the house. With the lip towards the top it’s easier for stems to hold their shape. We usually use white or off white.