One thing we look forward to every Christmas season is decorating with fresh greenery. With just a few steps you can have garlands and wreaths that stay fresh and green all season!
This is our last Cozy Living series for the year. Can you believe it? For the last 11 months our host, Jennifer from Town and Country Living, myself and several friends have shared things that have made our home a little cozier and warmer place to be. I hope that it’s inspired you to cling to those things that you love and that bring your home joy. This month I wanted to share one of my favorite things in our home durning the Christmas season, fresh greenery. We’ve used fresh garlands, wreaths and clippings for several years now and they’ve quickly become one thing that I look forward to most durning this time of the year!
I prefer fresh greenery over faux for a number of reasons. It’s not to say that the faux doesn’t have a place in our home. There are a couple places that I’ve opted for artificial trees and garlands but I like to use the fresh whenever possible. Nothing beats the smell of fresh cedar garland. The natural and color and texture is stunning and knowing that you have something naturally present in your home each Christmas makes the holiday season that much sweeter. Let’s talk my favorite greenery and how you can preserve it for the entire season!
Each year I dress our staircase bannister in garland. My favorite variety is cedar. In the past I have used a cedar, pine mix but found it more difficult to keep the pine needles as green. As they dry out they tend to stick straight out making a pom pom shape. Here’s a look at last years mixed garland.
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This year I decided to stick with strictly cedar. You cane find fresh garlands at most nurseries and home improvement stores. You want to shop for it early in the season. My experience as been that if you wait until the second week of December if becomes difficult to find.
The purchase my garlands in 20 feet lengths and double them up for the most impact on the bannister. As soon as I purchase it I take it home and completely submerge it in cool water in our bath tub. I leave it there overnight to allow it to soak up as much water as possible. This will prevent the garland from drying out too quickly once in your home. If you’re hanging it outside where the rain can reach it you don’t have to worry about this step as much. Once it’s been soaked for a number of hours I lay it out in our garage or outside to dry.
Once it’s dry I spray a product called Wilt Stop on it. There are a number of products similar to this one that preserve fresh greenery. I purchased this one at my local nursery. This helps keep your garland, wreaths, etc. green and fresh looking. You want to spray the garland back and front until it begins to drip off the garland. Let it dry and then bring it inside to hang. This particular spray is all natural and made from pine sap. It’s not harmful to people or pets, however it is a bit sticky when sprayed, so outside is best when applying.
I also try to lightly spray the garland and wreaths a couple times each week using a plant mister.
Not only do fresh garlands look great hanging from bannisters and fireplace mantels but over door ways as well. I decided to pin a few vintage Christmas cards that I found at a local antique store along side faux vintage postcards.
I even pinned a couple recipes that were handwritten by my grandmother. After the holidays I plan on framing them. The things add some color to the door way as well as a personal touch. As we receive Christmas cards this year they’ll be pinned to the garland.
I used cedar clippings that were left overs at the nursery on our open shelving in our kitchen and breakfast nook. I prepped them just as I did the garland. You simply trim the cedar sprigs to the desired length and lay them, weaving in and out of your decor. I allowed the cedar to slightly fall off the edge to give it a soft look.
You can also use fresh clippings in over-sized bowls, trays and vases. I love mixing the natural greenery with metallics for a nice contrast.
A fresh boxwood wreath hangs over our fireplace this year in place of garland. I had every intentions of adding garland to the mantel but I loved the simplicity and elegance of just wreath. Each year Trader Joes gets in fresh wreaths and swags just before Thanksgiving. They sell for only $10, so you have to get them fast. Spritzing the wreath with a bit of water each week and keeping it out of direct sunlight is all it needs ti stay green for months.
I love the look and feel that the fresh greenery adds to our home this time of the year. They can be as simple or elaborate as you choose. I hope this inspires you to get it a try if you haven’t already. I know you’ll love them as much as we do! Make sure to stop in a the next home on the hop and say hello. I’m loving all of these winter ideas for a cozy home this holiday season. I hope you’ll join me next week here in the blog for our cozy Christmas bedroom tour. Merry Christmas, friends!