Garden Photo of the Day

A Taste of Holiday Decor from Down Under

By Kim Charles

Although these are not natives to Australia I fashioned this door wreath out of mixed evergreens, English Box, Viburnum berries, a few dried gum nuts and miniature apples.”

Brian Mazzer gets creative with native foliage.

“These are some of my decorations using native foliages that I collected around my home in Brisbane, Australia.”

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A table arrangement of mixed eucalyptus leaves, New South Wales Christmas bush (Ceratopetalum gummiferum), Banksia nut, and dried gum nuts.
Door wreath using Persoonia longifolia, a Western Australian native for the base.
Mixed eucalyptus leaves were added along with gum nuts, yellow seed eucalyptus, and yellow Kangaroo Paw.
A wreath using New South Wales Christmas bush.

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  1. perenniallycrazy 12/22/2016

    Whoa Brian! I love all your wreaths - pretty amazing. I would love a tutorial. Do you do this for a living?

    1. brianmazzer 12/22/2016

      Hello.yes I am a florist and have been for 35 years. I love creating Christmas decorations out out things found in the bush.

      1. perenniallycrazy 12/22/2016

        You're quite talented. I'm impressed! I love everything that you've found in the bush. Are you a friend of Frank's?

        1. brianmazzer 12/22/2016

          No although I see he comments a lot on this blog. He seems a very knowledgeable fello and very friendly too.

          1. frankgreenhalgh 12/22/2016

            Thanks Brian - isn't it great being able to communicate in the same time zone? Sorry 1 hour difference since you don't have daylight saving. Cheers

    2. frankgreenhalgh 12/22/2016

      Hey Cherry - You are first again! Are you setting your alarm clock? Cheers, Frank

  2. frankgreenhalgh 12/22/2016

    G'day Brian - Great to see your post today. They are all fantastic arrangements, but the table one is an absolute ripper. How long do they stay fresh in your environment (e.g. with air conditioning)? I assume that they also look pretty good as dried arrangements, although there may be a smell of eucalyptus oil.

    We in south-eastern Oz are about to experience some real heat on Xmas day and beyond i.e. get some heat you guys have experienced in recent times. Cheers from Metung, Victoria

    1. brianmazzer 12/22/2016

      Hi Frank.They are all designed in wet floral foam so they last for about 10 days to two weeks.Afterwards they dry and with that comes the beautiful fragrance of the eucalyptus.

  3. jeffgoodearth 12/22/2016

    BEST wreaths EVER!

  4. user-3565112 12/22/2016

    Brian' Every one of your wreaths is creative & terrific. I really like the 3 ruby vases.They would compliment any Christmas dinner table. Wreaths come & go but they could become a family heirloom. Thank you for the post ,Merry Christmas & good luck Joe
    I want to take this opportunity thank Kim Charles for all the work she efforts over the last few weeks. The Christmas displays have been a tender & warm path to start the day. Thank you Kim & Merry Christmas to you & everyone else, Joe

    1. user-3282241 12/22/2016

      Yes, thank you Kim Charles. I always start my day with you!

  5. user-3565112 12/22/2016

    Sorry about the typo in my previous post, Joe

  6. User avater
    meander_michaele 12/22/2016

    These are all sensational, Brian. I love the addition of the miniature apples in the first one...those pops of lime green are perfect in amongst the quieter colors of the evergreen materials.
    I got curious about "gum nuts" since they seemed to be such a nice dried seed pod element....did a google search for info. According to one article that included lots of pictures of the flowers, they are the seed pod of varieties eucalypts trees. Is that the same as eucalyptus? The flowers are very interesting since they seem to be puffs of fringe.

  7. user-3282241 12/22/2016

    My favorite thing is to go out in the woods here in Vermont and gather greens for Christmas/winter decorations. It is dark and snowy this am so I find that I am drawn to the brightness of the South Wales Christmas bush. Have a Merry one!

  8. bonniep53 12/22/2016

    So beautiful and inspiring! What do you use as your base? It appears you have a bit more to choose from when you take your walks than I do in Eastern Pennsylvania in the colder months.

    1. brianmazzer 12/22/2016

      Hi Bonnie.I used a wet wreath frame ( floral foam) for the evergreen wreath but the other ones are all tied on with twine or wire. Using the wet ring is a little easier to design. The leaves and Chrissy bush have a mind of their own and don't always want to play the game!

  9. user-6841468 12/22/2016

    absolutely stunning! i want that Christmas Bush... wow, well done.

  10. tennisluv 12/22/2016

    Your wreaths and arrangement are gorgeous. They are perfect for Christmas and I would say for anytime during the year. How awesome it must be to have so many choices.

  11. user-4691082 12/22/2016

    I am very impressed, Brian! You have a real talent! Come on, are you a floral designer? You have to know that Frank is our official spokesperson for all of Oz, so I hope you get to have an audience with him at some point. (Make sure to bow and kiss his ring)...I love all of the plant varieties!

    1. frankgreenhalgh 12/22/2016

      Oh Rhonda my friend, you have absolutely cracked me up. I cannot stop laughing. Compliments of the season to you and your family. Cheers from an out of control foreign correspondent. I think I'll be chuckling all day and then some!

      1. user-4691082 12/22/2016

        Glad you had a chuckle! Merry Christmas, our friend!

  12. VikkiVA 12/22/2016

    I'm gob smacked (Do you use this term Down Under or is it strictly used in the Kingdom? lol) at the beauty of your arrangements. I love them all but the New South Wales Christmas bush wreath is my favorite. You have inspired me to copy your small wreath of Persoonia Longifolia using some of the Rosemary from my garden. It should add a nice fragrance to the kitchen. Merry Christmas to you and yours in beautiful Australia. Vikki in VA

  13. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 12/22/2016

    Wow. You are very talented. Love every one and really love the gum nuts. I first saw a wreath with apples several years ago, and they don't pop up that often, but they are a great element!

  14. User avater
    treasuresmom 12/22/2016

    The table arrangement is beyond gorgeous!!!!

  15. Sunshine111 12/22/2016


  16. edithdouglas 12/22/2016

    Stunning. And especially the Christmas Bush and the persoonia longifolia. but I looked again, and they're all gorgeous!

  17. schatzi 12/22/2016

    Creative use of beautiful natural materials. Love 'em all!

  18. GrannyCC 12/22/2016

    Wow those are fantastic. Love the Christmas Bush. The use of the eucalyptus adds such a wonderful soft colour and I am sure the smell.

  19. sheila_schultz 12/22/2016

    Absolutely gorgeous work, Brian. Each piece is so lush and filled with interesting textures and subtle colors. I'm particularly crazy about your eucalyptus wreath with the pods and kangaroo paws. The bluish silver of the eucalyptus leaves softened by the yellows is fabulous! There is no question that you are a very talented designer, thanks for sending in these images of your work!

  20. User avater
    LindaonWhidbey 12/22/2016

    Good morning down under, Brian, and thank you for sharing your beautiful creations. I especially like how you made the base for your wreath with the Persoonia Longifolia. Do you have that wrapped around the wet foam? Your last photo of the Christmas bush wreath is very appealing and gardens must look great when that is in full bloom. So nice to have another Aussie on GPOD.
    As others have said this morning, thank you Kim Charles for giving us our visual garden tour each morning. Seeing how others decorate for Christmas has been most enjoyable. Merry Christmas.

    1. brianmazzer 12/22/2016

      Hello Linda. The wreath base is just the native green tied together with wire then I tied on the leaves with more wire. The evergreen one with the apples is in a wet wreath frame and would last two to three weeks.

      1. User avater
        LindaonWhidbey 12/22/2016

        Thanks, Brian, and happy Holidays ?

  21. User avater
    gringopeligroso 12/22/2016

    G'day, Mr. Mazzer!
    (Altho it's evening and probably almost tomorrow for y'all!!)
    As others have and continue to say: Stunningly Beautiful! In fact, you've raised the bar for other's efforts, yet demonstrated how simplicity is also it's own elegance.
    MY fave, it'n we're counting votes, is the tabletop centrepiece...but tnen I'm drawn to most anything involving candles!!
    And, I have a hunch that if'n you had the gumption, (read: time) you could possible make a bit of Holiday Jingle in your purse if'n there was a method to ship Wreathes of the Christmas Bush to these shores and markets!!
    Merry Christmas and appreciate your sharing!!
    jesse Where's my clippers and wire???.....!!!

  22. jawadkareem 10/18/2019

    Table with mixed eucalyptus leaves, New South Wales Santa Claus Ceratopetalum Gummiferum, Banksia and dried chewing nuts. I need to know about ingeniousdesigns. Door wreath with Personaia Longifolia species, native to Western Australia. Mixed eucalyptus leaves were added with gum nuts, yellow seed eucalyptus and yellow kangaroo.

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