The evergreen is the centuries’ old symbol of long life and immortality. It is the world’s hope of the sustainability of life. We celebrate rebirth and renewal of life every year during this season. Ancient Romans exchanged evergreens as a token of good wishes for their family and friends. Today, evergreen boughs grace the interior as well as the exterior of homes all across America.

There are really good reasons to choose evergreens. The boughs do not add to our landfills. The freshest ones to use are right outside your door and readily available. Decorating with natural products from your own backyard is free – that is easy on the wallet! That aroma will fill your home with the evergreen scent that evokes memories of wonderful Christmases past.

Carefully cut greenery above a new bud so spring growth will fill in the gap created by the cuts. You can make fairly long cuttings on pine trees but holly can only stand a few inches of cutting. Be sure to get a variety of clippings. Leave them in a bucket of water overnight in the shed or garage. Get rid of that sticky resin on the greenery by dipping them in candle wax to seal. Resin can be cleaned from your hands with cooking oil. Now you are ready to start your creation.2013-12-18 22.50.16

First, cut your branches into smaller sections that are easier to handle. Wrap several of those sections together with green floral wire to create a bunch. Place all of your bunches in the same direction to a rope painted green and you will need less greenery for the finished product.

To decorate your garland, choose a color scheme – red/green, blue/gold etc. and create some ribbons. They attach easily with florist wire. This way you create a custom garland that works with your color scheme. These bows can be removed after the season and saved for next year. Any adornments you would like to add to your garlands can also be put on with florist wire and positioned where you would like.

If you like to have garland outside around your front door, here is an idea I love. Loosely wrap the garland with a wide ribbon in a bright color. Use that same ribbon to create two large bows – one for each upper corner of the doorframe. Drape the garland to create the look of a swagged curtain between the bows, which form the holders in the corners. It is a very nice look.

Tiny nails and fishing line are all you need to mount your garland. They will not be noticed. Protect surfaces such as banisters with ribbon wrappings or festive fabrics if the garland will be lying against it.

Let this be the season of going green with natural decorations while saving some green off the cost of holiday decor.

Happy decorating!



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