Our Castle Farm Hop Bines look beautiful all year round but can be transformed into a decorative show-stopper for Christmas!
Using pretty, lightweight decorations, you can easily add some festive cheer to your beautiful Hop Bine.
Here are our top tips;
Make sure the hop has been conditioned before you handle it - leave it in a damp atmosphere overnight or use a fine mist spray so the leaves and flowers are soft and raggy rather than brittle. Once you have brought it inside, work with it as fast (and gently) as possible because it will dry again very quickly indoors.
Whether you are putting up a new hop bine from scratch, or just adding decorations to an existing Hop Bine, put down a dust sheet so you can catch any of the petals that fall. It is totally natural that the bine will drop as you touch it - but don't worry, you won't notice at the end! If undisturbed, it won't drop.
Attach wire or string to the main stem at intervals along the length of the bine and hook over nails or hangers if putting on a wall. The bines are always thicker at one end so trim and relocate stems to the thinner end if you want symmetry. Add the fairy lights as the next step. Use fairy lights which are modern LED lights - these lights are low voltage and don't heat up, so therefore are the safest option. We find the 'warm' light colour works best with the natural bine colour. Plug in and check the lights work before you carefully loop them along the bine.
Lightweight decorations work best... you don't want heavy decorations which weigh down the delicate hop flowers and stems. We used little glass baubles, straw decorations, and pretty paper decorations to add charm and colour to the bine. Carefully hook them over the stems.
For a colourful seasonal centrepiece, add a ribbon feature to the middle of your hop bine (and smaller ones throughout if wished!). Bind a piece of wire to the back of the ribbon, and slot it through the stems to secure it in place. The ribbon can then be easily changed during the year to suit the season.
Stand back and look at the Hop Bine from a distance to ensure you are happy with the spread of decorations. You can still trim and relocate trailing stems for a balanced effect - but handle with care!
Don't forget to send us a photo - we love seeing your Hop Bine decorations at home or at events! firstname.lastname@example.org.