It’s that most wonderful time of the year where holiday decorations are in full swing! Truly, it’s not well executed Christmas home decor without vases full of frosted pine cones, styrofoam cranberries and plastic evergreen needles.
But this year, ditch the cliche store-bought winter decor and make your own with plants from your outdoor winter landscape wonderland. You won’t regret bringing the freshness of the garden inside this holiday season. Bonus: you have something to really brag about at Christmas get-togethers!
You’re probably thinking where do I start when decorating with plants? No worries-- Nature Hills will walk you through how to make winter decor with what’s available!
Greenery is the backbone of all plant decor and it truly can pull a room together. Have you ever wondered why every living room has at least one houseplant? Because the green color brings life!
So, that’s exactly where we’ll start-- with Evergreens and other winter plants that are still green.
Whether you’re making a holiday bouquet that will sit elegantly on your dining room table or creating a pair of guest greeters that border either side of your front door, you’ll want to lay down the base first.
Follow the rule of 3’s when working with greenery:
Side tip: If you’re creating a holiday arrangement in large pots, place in floral foam so that you can stick in your various plant pieces without having to fill the whole container. The foam will provide support and hold your decor together.
It also provides moisture and hydration for the greenery, especially if being brought indoors where the winter air can be very drying. Want to keep them fresh for as long as possible? Spray a antidessicant!
Take a look at your winter garden and pinpoint the Evergreen shrubs or trees you have on hand.
Frasier Fir, Spruce Trees and Pine Trees (don’t forget the pine cones!) work well as the taller greens or what the background is composed of.
The evergreens don’t need to be meticulously selected or arranged in a certain order. In fact, placing them in an unspecific pattern will give your holiday decor a full background feeling.
You can use a few Boxwood, Arborvitae or Holly bush clippings as your secondary fillers as they carry that bushy effect the middle of your arrangement is looking for. Even use any extra clippings for fresh wreaths or homemade garland.
The trick to properly picking out the greenery is to pair together various colors and textures! For a different silvery-blue foliage, use Juniper Bushes. They really nail the ‘winter blues’ on the head and offer a unique shade of color.
Lacking Evergreens in your landscape? No worries! A few Perennials also add great texture such as: Baby’s Breath and dried Roses. And don't forget about using the dried Hydrangea flowers! These can be spray painted or left in their natural state.
Now that we have the background and base color set up for your decor, we can get to the fun part: accents! Start with Ornamental Grasses such as Pampas Grass or Feather Reed.
Ornamental Grasses add a touch of volume, glitz and motion, but also can bring a new level of texture. With quick snips of grasses of all different sizes, you can gather bundles of arrangements that resemble the season’s joy.
Decide what your holiday decor is trying to convey as grasses come in all shapes-- upright, arching and even mounded. Maiden Grasses have silky, tassel-like blooms whereas Fountain Grasses are admired for their fuzzy plumes. Choose to roll with only one grass or mix n’ match for an attractive winter bouquet.
Here at Nature Hills, we like to spray paint the grasses silver or gold to really highlight the theme we are chasing that year!
A winter decoration is never complete without the addition of a few backyard tree or bush branches. We know the holiday favorite is the iconic white birch branches-- however, not only can you use the elegant white bark of Birch Trees for a strong coarse color and texture, but there are other branches you may have not thought of using before.
Curly Willow or Harry Lauders Walking Stick branches are ideal for adding in height, drama and thrill to your indoor decoration. They like to twist and turn in every direction possible, which only brings excitement to an indoor decoration.
If your garden has a Bailey Red Twigged Dogwood bush, now is it's time to truly shine indoors and out! Anytime from mid to late winter, expect vibrant red stems to appear that can be used indoors for strong vertical elements.
Bring on the color that completes an arrangement! Christmas decorations and winter vases almost always incorporate a pop of color from Holly Bush berries, cool blue Juniper berries, or Viburnum Bush fruit.
When the Winter Jewel Winterberry Holly loses its leaves in the fall season, the stems are covered in bright red berries that are perfect in a seasonal display.
You can use dried Christmas roses and Hydrangea blooms, cones and even seed pods for additional color too! How you use these is only limited by your own creativity.
Ditch the faux winter plant decorations and make your own season after season! It brings the outdoor freshness inside, saves you money during the holidays and is a great annual family activity that all can participate in.
Be sure to brag about your decor at get-togethers too!