For a magical mantelpiece makeover the natural way, foliage and garlands add showstopping sparkle to the scene, says Hannah Stephenson . SO YOU’VE made your Christmas wreath, your outdoor lights are glowing and the mistletoe’s hanging above the door — but how else can you add festive sparkle to the scene? It’s easy to pimp your mantelpiece with flora and fauna, from the most elaborate adornments to a few sprigs here and there. Think garlands, candle circles and stand-alone showstoppers. Here are just a few ideas… NATURAL GLAMOUR You just need some dried foliage such as silver eucalyptus leaves, dried larkspur and corn, dried roses and Spanish moss to make this showstopping mantelpiece decoration, which would ideally sit on one side of the shelf. If you’re using foliage from the garden, you leave it overnight in a warm room to allow it to dry out. Give cut flowers a little more time to dry. Adding air plants such as tillandsia, which you can buy in all shapes, sizes and textures, will be ideal. It’s super-easy to throw together into a vase. For an extra secure display you can use chicken wire to hold in place. Place taller stems in first and then layer, placing medium length stems in next, followed by shorter sprigs at the front. Other mantelpiece decorations can be used to weigh down and hold the floral arrangement securely in place. Try not to put the decoration too close to candles if you are going to light them, or invest in some battery-operated candles. IVY LEAGUE Ivy is such a versatile plant. While in the garden it can be a thug, at Christmas it comes into its own and you just need a handful of long stems to create an authentic look, whether draped over the side […]