Go ahead—deck the halls with boughs of holly, and while you’re at it, bring in some trailing ivy and red-berried winterberry branches, too. While I was in Chicago last week for Thanksgiving, I was impressed with all the gorgeous landscaping. Michigan Avenue, Wacker, and Lake Shore Drive look great in every season, but I especially liked the combinations of grasses and red-twig dogwoods, and containers filled with white-birch logs and evergreen boughs.
Twigs, logs, evergreens, and berries aren’t just for outdoor impact—they can also add
flair to your indoor decorations. Arrange larger twigs and branches in pots or vases,
and use holly, ivy, and evergreen branches as swags or garlands on your mantle piece or over the front door. And why pay good money for a fancy wreath when you can most likely find all you need to make one in your own backyard? City dwellers might have to purchase the greenery, but if you have a garden, get
creative with your shears and wire!
I like to fill baskets with pine cones—there are never any shortage of those in my yard, but I often buy bags of cinnamon-scented pine cones, too. You can go for the natural look with any of these, or you can spray on glitter in gold, silver, or holiday colors to make them stand out.
You can also add warmth by including live potted plants in your holiday decorating schemes—amaryllis and poinsettias are popular, as are Christmas cactus, cyclamen, paperwhite narcissus, red carnations, miniature red roses, and even small potted Norfolk Island pines and other conifers. These are pretty basic ideas, but the books I’ve featured—including one of our featured books at B&N’s Garden Book Club—offer much more original and artistic suggestions.
Do you use holiday decorations you’ve crafted from materials in your garden? Tell us about them!
Becke Davis is the senior writer for The Landscape Contractor magazine, a member of Garden Writers of America and the Ohio Nursery and Landscape Association. She has written well over 1,000 published articles and is the author of five garden-related books in addition to being the moderator of B&N's Garden and Mystery book clubs.