Decorating with fresh greenery from your landscape is easy and a great way to bring the outside in. AND, oh yes, it is basically free! Many evergreens hold up well for a week to 10 days inside your home. If you place the stems in water and place them outside on your porch they will often last weeks during the cool days of our fall and winter.
There are many landscape and forest plants that perform well including pine, cedar, magnolia, juniper, wax myrtle, pittosporum, nandina, Leyland cypress, arborvitae, ivy and holly of all types. If you don’t know which plants perform well and which don’t, experiment with them ahead of your event.
You will need clippers to cut the greenery and a bucket of water to place them in as you cut. You may need to split the hard stems or bash with a hammer to open up the stems so they will absorb more water. You may want to rinse the greenery before letting it sit overnight in a cool place to absorb water.
Many evergreens like pine, cedar and magnolia leaves will hold up for several days without water but putting them in a container with water will prolong their life.
Adding springs of fresh greenery to florist flowers is inexpensive and will transform simple cut flowers into holiday decorations. You may add greenery along your mantle or banister, in the branches of your chandelier, around a holiday decoration and many other places in your home.
Caution: some plants and berries may be toxic to people and pets.
For more information on using fresh greenery check out Holiday Decorating with Fresh Greenery from Clemson Cooperative Extension. This publication has great pictures, more detailed information and even directions to make your own kissing ball.