Some Sparkle to Your Holiday Décor
By Melinda Myers
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[December 12, 2014]
Liven up your holiday décor with
lights, a bit of glitz and some colorful blossoms this season.
Start by gathering greenery from your landscape. Use needled
evergreens like pines and firs, broadleaf evergreens like boxwood,
holly and evergreen magnolia as well as junipers and arborvitaes to
create wreaths, swags, centerpieces and garland. And don’t forget to
include cones, holly berries, crabapples and the bluish-colored
fruit of junipers.
Be selective as you prune your trees and shrubs when collecting
these materials. Use sharp bypass pruners that have two sharp blades
and will make a clean cut that closes more quickly. Make your cuts
above a healthy bud, where the branches join another branch, or back
to the main trunk. Take only a few branches from each tree or shrub
to maintain the plants’ beauty.
Place freshly cut greens in a cool location away from heaters,
fireplaces and open flames. Set them on colorful fabric or paper to
catch the sap and avoid damaging your woodwork and furnishings.
Check your greenery for freshness every few days. The needles,
leaves and stems should bend, but not break. Replace dried greens
with fresh materials.
Then brighten up the display with some cool burning LED lights.
Create a mantle display or centerpiece with the help of LED pillar
lights. Or add a string of LEDs to your garland. Look for something
unusual like pinecone string lights (gardeners.com) to add sparkle
and charm to your display.
If you have artificial greens that could use a facelift, add fresh
berries, cones and seedpods for a more natural look. Increase the
glitz with the help of silver and gold metallic paint or glitter.
Paint milkweed, lotus and other pods and then tuck them into the
greens. Painting allium seedheads white will add the appearance of
flowery snowflakes in your indoor arrangements and outdoor container
And don’t forget the fresh flowers and flowering plants.
Poinsettias are a long-time favorite, but you may want to change
things up with Amaryllis, spring flowering bulbs and lily of the
valley. Look for unusual varieties or combinations to increase your
enjoyment. Combine large flowered amaryllis with small flowering
bulbs like star of Bethlehem. Or go for a unique size shape or
flower color like that of the Honeybee Amaryllis with its beautiful
yellow flowers that are sure to brighten your days.
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Add a few flowers to your greenery and houseplants for some
instant color. Stick your greenery and flowers in dampened floral
foam to create a long-lasting holiday centerpiece. Or place cut
flowers in floral picks and set them in dish gardens and houseplants
to brighten things up. Then swap out the flowers as they fade.
And consider making a few extra planters or centerpieces to give as
holiday and hostess gifts this year.
Now is the time to put on your gardening shoes, grab the pruners and
get started decorating for the holiday season ahead.
Gardening expert, TV/radio host, author & columnist Melinda Myers
has a master’s degree in horticulture and has written over 20
gardening books, including Can’t Miss Small Space Gardening and the
Midwest Gardener’s Handbook. She hosts The Great Courses “How to
Grow Anything” DVD series and the nationally syndicated Melinda’s
Garden Moment segments. Myers is also a columnist and contributing
editor for Birds & Blooms magazine. Her web site,
www.melindamyers.com, offers gardening videos, podcasts and monthly
[Melinda Myers with photo by
Gardener's Supply Company]