Friday, December 9, 2011

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Holiday Greens

This was done by a professional but you can (and should) try this at home.

Nothing says Christmas to me like fresh evergreens. Having them in a pot near the front door or putting a fresh wreath on the front door provides great color, great texture and a heavenly scent.

I’m no Martha Stewart, but I love decorating a front door wreath differently each year. I’ll add a plaid ribbon bow one year and a shiny red one the next. My holiday pots also vary from year to year. It’s a good creative outlet once the garden has gone to sleep for the winter. 

Incense cedar
Variegated arborvitae

Some people, of course, prefer artificial trees, wreaths and other greens. I realize this works better for some people inside the house, especially those with allergies. But putting artificial greenery outside, not too far from real evergreens in my entryway garden, somehow just doesn’t seem right to me. To each their own, though.

I started out just using the trimmings from the bottom of our Christmas tree. In recent years, I’ve graduated to a mixture of greens including cedar, incense cedar, variegated arborvitae, blueberry juniper, white pine, Noble fir and/or Douglas fir. (One of my friends insists the latter smells like whiskey!) Each type has its own unique texture.


There’s also a whole host of materials that can add color and texture. These include pine cones, lotus pods, holly, variegated holly, huckleberry (with lovely red tones), eucalyptus, seeded eucalyptus, pepperberries, canella berries, holly berries and even the white tallowberry..

Variegated holly
To add height, you can use curly willow, pussywillows and the wonderfully contorted fantail willow. Plus there's always an old standby -- red dogwood twigs.

Be sure to use plastic pots, either on their own or as a liner. Clay pots can break if the soil in them freezes.

There are a few tricks to using fresh evergreens. Mash the ends of the woody stems as this allows the branches to draw in more water. Then soak the branches overnight in a bucket or other container filled with water. Arrange. Spray with an antidesiccant if the pot will be in an exposed or sunny area.

The final result should carry you into January and possibly beyond. The pots on my covered porch typically last into February, depending on the weather.

I hope you’ll trying using some fresh evergreens on or near your front door this year. It will make your entry uniquely yours.

Happy Holidays!

By Karen Geisler


  1. I love the arrangement Karen. Cedar, holly and holly berries are so pretty together and anyone can make them. I wish I had a big holly bush in my yard.

  2. Very pretty!! I'm not very crafty and bought my wreath from the Boy Scouts. Now I'm feeling motivated to go give it a sniff and an admiring look. :o)