This was first posted last December. This is great holiday party decor…natural, fragrant, economical and stunning. There’s nothing like going all out during the holidays. The Christmas season at our house is one filled with food and more food. Even the decor is sometimes made of food. Inspired by a recent photo sent to me of western topiaries made of lemons and apples, I decided to see if I could make one out of local produce. The results were really quite stunning…dalandan topiary christmas tree a la marketman.
Start with a wood or metal base then tailor floral foam (oasis) in the rough shape of a Christmas tree (please refer to photo below to see various stages of topiary) which will be used as the base for sticking in the dalandan fruit. You may also want to try a styrofoam base but I prefer the green oasis to the stark white styrofoam. Make sure the foam is wired to secure it to the frame. Do not soak oasis in water. Buy very fresh dalandans with dark green skins… I bought 10 kilos but only used 7.5 kilos for this nearly three foot tall topiary. Attach dalandans to the frame using sturdy toothpicks stuck into the center of the bottom side of the fruit.
After totally covering the foam frame, insert “fillers” in the gaps between the oranges. I used ivy tips (yes, the stuff growing on our hollow block walls) cut from our garden, but dried or fresh moss would also work well. Just insert ivy or moss between the dalandans as shown in the photo below. This topiary looked great for about 4 days (though the ivy dries out fast) and I used it for two holiday dinners.
I bought the dalandans at just P12 per kilo so this cost roughly P120 for fruit (including lots of juice from extras), P150 for the oasis, I made the frame from extra plywood at home and the toothpicks were just a few pesos worth. Grand total — about P300 for this stunning topiary. I think that’s a great deal, don’t you? You may wish to try this on a smaller scale with calamansi or larger scale with dayap. The citrus fruit has a great scent that infuses the room where the topiary is placed. If you want to re-use the fruit, do so just a day or so after making the topiary… make tons of juice, dalandan sherbet, etc. A great holiday centerpiece, consumable the following day, and very reasonably priced. Enjoy and Happy Holidays!