Fresh Greenery For Christmas Decor


Basic Tips On Decorating With Greenery

Do you love real evergreen wreaths, garlands, and arrangements? I do, too. But unless you order from a Florist, you may have some difficulty keeping your greenery looking fresh. Or maybe the idea of cutting your own, or putting them together is a bit daunting.

Start with these tips and ideas to keep your decor unique, fresh, and your holiday budget intact.

Making Your Own Arrangements

Two key things to keep in mind are:

  • Textural contrast
  • Color contrast

Texture of Pine, Spruce, Incense Cedar, and Juniper are needled evergreens each with differences in color and texture. Combine them to give your wreath variation, where the look of several types of needles is especially good looking.

Add some boxwood, Holly, Magnolia or Mahonia for additional difference in feel and color. the large leaves, some velvety, some shiny, Large ones like the Magnolias, tiny Boxwood ones, all give interest and combined, lots of contrast.

Then detail your wreaths or other arrangements with berries like holly, pepper berries, or similar accents. These are some of my favorites! Perhaps not as easy to find (pepper berries don’t grow in my climate), they can be found in most floral outlets at this time of year, or go ahead and use the artificial- this is one time fake might be better than the natural choices.

Keep moist in water filled container or oasis.
Keep moist in water or foam until temps drop below freezing

Christmas greenery for sale

Basic Tips On Cutting Your Own Boughs and Branches

If you are cutting branches from your own trees and bushes to work with, keep in mind that removing the ends of pine or spruce will change the shape of the tree. Those ends won’t regrow.

Sap can be sticky, but branches seal at the base within an hour or two. Want to prevent that? Keep wet.

If sap dries and you wish for water uptake, re-cut the ends.

Have trees, and branches stay inside, or in a frost free place for a few hours before decorating and arranging to keep the branches more flexible.

Humidity extends the freshness of the cut greens

What Is ‘Flocking’?

Flocking applies a cellulose product sprayed in a fine application to a fresh tree or fresh holiday greenery. These should be treated like the fresh cut greens which are kept moist in a water reservoir.

Making Memories

In one of my Christmas pages I recounted some of my own traditions which included making door and post lantern decorations from plant material in my yard. Though nowadays you will usually find me grabbing a mixed conifer wreath from Costco or Sam’s club. Not that making your own isn’t quite fun ( and I do save the wreath forms for future use), but we just don’t grow some of the varieties that I like to use, like Incense Cedar or berried holly.

I have plenty of spruce, but that isn’t my favorite for making decorations and personally, I don’t care for the smell! Not at all Christmas-y.

We live in a moist climate in Central Ohio, but if yours is at all dry during winter, do think of spritzing even outdoor wreaths with some moisture, here and there.

Those who live in places where plants such as Nandina or Magnolia are part of the landscape should consider bring the local flavor into their decorations. Like the garden itself, a bit of the genius loci creates atraditional rooted feeling that is very welcome during the holidays.

Delivered To Your Door

The simplest alternative in terms of time and effort is to have fresh greenery delivered to your door after ordering it online. Then just deck the halls- or the porch or whatever.

Always remember that combining a flame source, such as a lighted candle and fresh evergreens in arrangements requires extra safety measures. Be especially attentive to keeping the greenery moist.

Though more complicated than some instructions, making a moist moss base in this wreath creates a source of moisture for your conifer branches.

Make Your Own Wreath

Super Easy Fresh Porch Decoration

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Ilona Erwin, author

Meet the Author


I started working on this website beginning in 1998, when it was part of "Ilona's Reflecting Pool". Since then I've branched out into a number of online endeavors and work at writing lots of content for my sites. The work on "Ilona's Garden" remains my primary site and is dedicated to home gardener's success.