Using freshly cut foliage for holiday decorations has been a family tradition for generations. Instead of using artificial greenery, brighten the holiday season by walking around your garden and gathering interesting leaves and berries to create distinctive and unique arrangements. Involve young folks in the process to create lasting holiday memories.
There are no steadfast rules on the greenery to use in your decorations. Do choose foliage that is hardier to withstand the cold weather and last the entire holiday season, such as magnolia, holly, smilax, arborvitae, or other conifer cuttings. For contrast, I prefer magnolia leaves that have a fuzzy copper colored pubescence on the underside of the leaves. Using purchased grapevine wreath forms or balls (or make your own) are an easy way to create a beautiful wreath or kissing ball. Add some festive ribbon to your creations and enjoy!
Here are some fun ideas
Mailbox Swag: Decorating the mailbox will add instant holiday appeal to your home. A magnolia and pine cone swag decorated with a brightly colored bow is a simple and elegant way to welcome the season.
Holiday Fox (or other statuary): Do not overlook dressing up statuary you may have in your garden. In my own landscape, “Reynard the Fox” gets all dressed up in his holiday finery. A mixture of arborvitae and smilax is used to embellish his sparkly bow and scarf. This is a great way to add fun and whimsy to the outside decorations.
Grapevine Wreaths or Balls: Grapevine wreaths, balls, or other shapes are an easy way to decorate. They provide a sturdy form to insert a wide selection of greenery and berries. Add a bow with some sparkle to create a cheerful wreath or kissing ball to welcome the holiday spirit to your home.
Outdoor Containers: Now that the summer annuals have been removed from any outdoor containers, fill an empty one with a combination of magnolia, aucuba, and arborvitae foliage. I have a wrought iron urn that I put a fern hanging basket in each spring, but for the winter season, I fill it with interesting greenery to add a little spice to my winter landscape.