Living Decor

conifer arrangementConsidering holiday decorating with the greens from your garden? A client asked me for some suggestions this year, and I thought I’d share them with all of you.

Evergreen conifer arrangements, like the holidays themselves, add sparkle to the shortest, darkest days of the year. And even if you are taking a year off from the holiday cheer, you can celebrate the winter solstice.

Evergreens are the natural garden resource for decorating in the winter. Winter greens can be used almost anywhere inside or out (as long as you keep them away from flames). If you have a garden, a trip outside with a pair of clippers will get you started.

Your evergreen conifer arrangements can be as simple as arranging a collection of cut branches in a small vase or as ambitious as crafting a wreath. However, your evergreen arrangements need not look typically traditional. Few of my ideas include red bows, gold foil, faux fur or candy canes.

A door swag is easy to make, and what better way to greet guests than with the smell of freshly cut pine? I use boughs I collect when doing my regular winter pruning. All you need  is a few branches and some wire to secure the stems and make a wire loop for hanging. Evergreen conifer cuttings will stay fresh much longer outdoors but they are heavenly indoors as well where you can see them up close and enjoy the scents.

If you are in the mood and have a little time, consider making evergreen arrangements to give as gifts as well as for your own enjoyment. I made this 30-inch-tall arrangement in about 20 minutes, including cutting the branches. A great gift — and no Internet or phone ordering required!

Add interest to your evergreen arrangements by using a variety of colors and textures. Some of my favorite evergreens include:small pine arrangement

  • Chamaecyparis obtusa – Hinoki Cypress
  • Cedrus atlantica (Glauca Group) – Blue Atlas Cedar
  • Cupressus arizonica ‘Blue Ice’ – Blue Ice Arizona Cypress
  • Cuppressus x leylandii ‘Gold Rider’ – Gold Rider Leyland Cypress
  • Taxus baccata – English Yew (many varieties have berries)

For dramatic contrast, add bare twigs or a broadleaf evergreen like Laurus nobilis – Sweet Bay.

All of these plants and trees are attractive in a winter landscape. When critiquing your garden this winter — with an eye to making improvements in the spring — consider some of these plants (and their dwarf forms, for smaller gardens). They look great all year long and require little maintenance or water once established.

Contact us to learn more about garden planning, landscape design, and fall planting.




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