foliage can be turned into ‘ ’ by painting the tips of the branches a bright scarlet, a coral pink or a greenish-white, the colours of , although the red varieties are best known.
Cycasbought from the florist’s sundriesman can also be used to cover large areas. They come in several sizes. For large some may have to be mounted on thin canes. You can save considerable time and trouble if you mount them on a strong wire near the base (the clear portion of is very short) and then fix three or five fan-wise to a cane. This way you need only arrange one . This is a good method to use when vases have fairly small apertures, such as those of some church vases for example. You can buy bleached cycas which can be sprayed or glittered. The green fronds are rather dark and heavy and may need tinting.
Another means of quickly decorating a large area—either on a wall or the apron of a buffet table—is to use swags or ropes ofand . The simplest method of all is simply to take trails of ivy and loop them, making a special knot of leaves, flowers, fruit, even doyleys at the junction of one loop with the next.
Swags can be made of things other than winter evergreens. Pressed bracken and other ferns come to mind and helichrysums and other dried flowers can be used, but not, I would advise, on a buffet apron in case someone drops a cigarette end on them. Reserve these for wall decorations.
Heaps and cones of fruits, flowers and vegetables are always effective. These too can be made some time ahead of the event.