COVID-19 Extension Updates and Resources ... More Information »

Close message window

Creative Ideas for Holiday Decorating

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!

There are no steadfast rules on the greenery to use in your decorations.

There are no steadfast rules on the greenery to use in your decorations.
Barbara H. Smith, ©2020 HGIC, Clemson University

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.

Decorating the mailbox will add instant holiday appeal to your home.
Barbara H. Smith, ©2020 HGIC, Clemson University

A swag made from magnolia leaves and pinecones is an elegant way to decorate your mailbox.

A swag made from magnolia leaves and pine cones is an elegant way to decorate your mailbox.
Barbara H. Smith, ©2020 HGIC, Clemson University

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.

“Reynard the Fox”

“Reynard the Fox” is dressed in his holiday finery.
Barbara H. Smith, ©2020 HGIC, Clemson University

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.

A grapevine wreath decorated with magnolia, arborvitae, and holly berries adds a festive touch near the front door.

A grapevine wreath decorated with magnolia, arborvitae, and holly berries adds a festive touch near the front door.
Barbara H. Smith, ©2020 HGIC, Clemson University

A purchased grapevine ball decorated with greenery and holiday ribbon is an easy way to make a kissing ball.

A purchased grapevine ball decorated with greenery and holiday ribbon is an easy way to make a kissing ball.
Barbara H. Smith, ©2020 HGIC, Clemson University

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.

Fill an outdoor container with interesting greenery to a little spice to the winter landscape.

Fill an outdoor container with interesting greenery to a little spice to the winter landscape.
Barbara H. Smith, ©2020 HGIC, Clemson University

If this document didn’t answer your questions, please contact HGIC at hgic@clemson.edu or 1-888-656-9988.

Factsheet Number

Newsletter

Categories

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This