Holiday Decorating With Cut Greenery

By: Jennifer LaMontagne – Assistant Horticulturist – Bloch’s Farm – Green Lake, WI

Thankfully, besides the traditional Christmas tree, there are many simple ways to bring the beauty and aroma of evergreens into your home. To create beautiful garlands, wreaths, baskets, and other arrangements, you can collect cuttings from your yard using an assortment of fresh boughs, twigs, birch poles, berries, and cones. Popular tree varieties enjoyed for their natural beauty and heavenly scent include Frasier fir, Balsam Fir, Colorado Blue Spruce, White Pine, and Cedar.
Balsam boughs are often collected during this time of year. If you have Balsam Firs in your yard, clip the boughs carefully so as not to disrupt the future growth of the trees. Check the guidelines in your area for the requirements to cut boughs on public land. Wear gloves to protect your hands and wrists from the sap and prickly needles. After cutting boughs about 18-30 inches or so in length, attach them on a wreath wire, or heavy gauge garland wire, or arrange them in a basket or container of your choice. Floral foam, soaked in water can be helpful as it allows you to create arrangements of different sizes and shapes more easily. Water the arrangement, if possible, so that it will last throughout the holiday season.
There are many other gifts from nature that you can use when decorating your home. Red Twig Dogwood is a favorite. Simply cut a few twigs and place in a vase mixed with some of your fall grasses and evergreen boughs. Add a few thin birch poles for a dramatic effect. Do you have Winterberry, Ilex verticillata included in your landscape? This shrub stays beautiful all winter long; the clustery red berries are beautiful against the winter snow and can be added to your indoor decor. Holly, Ilex species; brings beauty through its branches and berries; simply trim a few branches off of your plant to add to your arrangements. If you have a White Pine or other evergreen tree in your yard, look for pine cones that can be sprayed with citrus, cinnamon, or vanilla scents to bring beauty and fragrance into your home.
The winter season is a time to bring the comforts of our natural world indoors. Many creative projects can provide a lot of coziness with very little experience or expense. Take a walk through your landscaped areas and you may find endless possibilities. Have fun decorating!
Bloch’s Farm is now closed for the season but feel free to call 920-294-6000 or e-mail with any questions. Visit our website online at and follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

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