That time is nearly upon us again and soon the holiday decorations will be taking center stage. For most of us, our décor may be limited to our budget. So why not think green-evergreen. Decorating with garland or boughs of greenery not only look festive but can be done at a fraction of the cost of those ready-made decorations.
Take a look outside. What do you see? Did you know that anything from pine and cedar to holly and ivy can be used for holiday decorating? If properly cared for, many types of evergreens can last several weeks indoors, especially the needled varieties like cedar and pine. In fact, many types of pine can be used to create festive wreaths and garlands. Firs also make excellent choices for holidays wreaths and swags. Spruce, cedar, and juniper can be used as well. In addition to their naturalistic charm, all of these evergreens can offer wonderful, fresh fragrances too.
Other greenery that can be used for holiday décor includes boxwood, holly, and ivy. Boxwoods are great for use as garland or wreaths. Holly bushes are well known for their traditional holiday adornment and festive red berries (found on female plants). Ivy is also commonly used in holiday arrangements. Those lucky enough to have the plant handy can use fresh mistletoe as well. Here in the South, mountain laurel (wild rhododendron) is commonly utilized for wreath making or as garlands. Magnolia leaves are also popular, especially when used in centerpieces.
In addition to greenery, you can dress up your evergreen décor with other landscape items. For instance, you are sure to come across a variety of berries, nuts, and acorns. You can also use moss, pine cones, dried flowers and seedpods.
When using evergreen for holiday decorating, however, there are some important things you should be aware of beforehand. Following their harvest or gathering, it’s a good idea to soak greenery in water overnight. This will allow the plants to rehydrate and extend their period of freshness. You should also keep evergreen wreaths, garlands, etc. in a cool location until ready to use. You’ll need to check your decorations throughout the holiday season as well every few days. If the greenery becomes too dry, it will need replacing.
Dry greenery can become flammable and pose a fire risk; therefore, you’ll also want to keep your decorations well away from any heat sources, such as heaters, candles, fireplaces, etc. Finally, if you have any young children or pets, you’ll need to keep your evergreen decorations out of their reach as some of these plants (or berries) can be poisonous if ingested.
Remember, there are a number of holiday decorations that can be created from fresh greenery found in your own backyard. I grew up in a home where this sort of thing was commonplace. I still enjoy creating my own decorations today. Anything from garlands and wreaths to swags, topiaries, and festive centerpieces can add extra charm to your home over the holiday season. Best of all, it won’t empty your wallet.
Resources: personal experience