Clippings or What can I use to personalize my Christmas decorations?

I love the change of seasons and the progression of yearly holidays.  There is such a sense of order that I appreciate.  Winter is now upon us, although technically it does not start until December 22nd.  But it  is time to redecorate.  I enjoy changing my containers seasonally and decorating for holidays.  I do not adhere to a strict schedule, I am more organic in my timing.  I am not over the top in my decorating, either.  In fact, this year I am feeling like I do not want to go to the bother of putting up a Christmas tree and pulling out all of my ornaments and decorations.  I’m thinking  a bare branch and a few balls, and perhaps a Poinsettia.  What I am spectacularly excited about is renovating the containers on my porch and decorating a wreath to hang on my door!

When I redecorate my containers, I leave the soil in them, only removing the spent summer annuals or fall plants, like mums, that don’t look good through the winter.  Then I stick evergreen boughs into the soil, preferably Noble Fir and Incense Cedar.  The Cedar cascades over the side and the Fir provides a more vertical framework.  Then I add in Red Twig Dogwood stems or grass for a strong vertical element.  I fill in with foliage that I have pruned off of the plants in my garden, like Nandina (hopefully with berries), Rosemary possibly, and sometimes Spring Bouquet Viburnum.  Add in a few pine cones or artificial, sparkly decorations and I’m done.  When it comes to the wreath, I am a little more or less creative, depending upon how you look at it.  I do not have the time, or for that matter the talent, to make my own wreath.  So I start with one from the nursery.  We have 2 awesome wreath suppliers, so I pick out one I like the looks of, which is particularly difficult for me because they all look great.  Then I start adding clippings from my own garden.  I was pleased to see that one of our regular customers does the same thing.  I was loading in some cut greens into her vehicle and she mentioned that she already had some clippings from her garden in the back, that she was going to add to her decorations.  Anyway, I have a Bay tree in my herb garden and I love the look of the bay leaves on a Noble Fir wreath.  The textural difference is appealing.  So I start with the Bay.  Then I add Nandina, hopefully with berries, that I also used in the containers.  The Nandina (Heavenly Bamboo) has a medium texture compared with the Bay and the Fir, as well as a red tint to the foliage.  I may add Rosemary if that is appropriate.  I have some other options to add color: Yuletide Camellia has lovely red flowers, Pieris has colorful buds.  I sometimes take smaller twigs of Redtwig Dogwood (that were too small for the containers) and them, too.  Finally, I add a bow and I’m finished.  I shouldn’t admit this, but most years I simply stick all these items into the wreath, not even bothering to wire them on.  If you have a very active door (obviously I don’t), it’s recommended to wire them on.  I get the feeling that I have personally decorated my own wreath using what could be considered waste from my own garden.  It looks fresh and unique.

If you don’t feel creative or lack the time, Garland Nursery has options.  We have many uniquely decorated wreaths ready to simply hang on the front door.  We will gladly create a custom wreath for you.  Are you wanting the experience of creating your own wreath, but need a little guidance.  We can help you with that, also.  Check out this weekend events!  Sunday is a great day for a family outing.  You can ride on our decorated golf-carts, cut you own greens and then create your own swag.  Sounds like fun to me!

About Brenda Powell

I'm one of the owners of a family-owned retail nursery. I have a degree in horticulture from Oregon State University. I love to garden and read. My technically savvy but horticulturally challenged husband, Mitch, spends most of his time as slave labor in the garden. Thank goodness he adores me! My goal in this blog is to share my enjoyment of gardening, my love of nature, and my addiction to books. Did I mention I like to cook, too?
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