Growing Your Own Greens for Holiday Decorations

— Written By and last updated by Elisabeth Purser
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Several years ago while attending a winter meeting I was inspired by a small, simple, beautiful arrangement of greenery in of all places the ladies’ restroom! It prompted me to add several evergreens to my landscape in Virginia that I left behind. The new owners now have a good palate of plants from which to cut fresh greens for use during the holidays.

It will not harm the plants to cut pieces for holiday decorating if you wait until mid-November. When making your cuts for the greenery, use proper pruning cuts as you would for any regular pruning that you may do. 

Christmas Wreath

Most of us can find room in our landscape to plant a few evergreen or deciduous shrubs and perhaps even larger evergreen trees. For fragrance, add arborvitae, juniper, pine, or spruce. Some species of cypress have blue colored foliage. Pine and spruce have stiff foliage that will provide structure for floral arrangements, while white pine with soft foliage can be used in roping. Both evergreen and deciduous holly provide colorful berries along with Nandina, and magnolia produce colorful seed pods.

Red Osier dogwood is a deciduous shrub with species that have brightly colored red, green, or yellow stems. Dragons’ Claw or Corkscrew willow is deciduous with spiraling twigs that can be used to bring interest to floral arrangements. It can be dried & spray painted to suit your color scheme.

Consider where you might add some of these plants to your own garden. In a relatively short time you can be rewarded with abundant greenery for making your own holiday decorations.

Join the Extension Master Gardener℠ volunteers in Union County for their last Successful Gardener program of 2021 on November 4, at 7 p.m. The topic will be Creating Holiday Decorations from Your Yard. Two of our talented Extension Master Gardener℠ Volunteers, Michael Luther and Kathy Grunden, will lead this in-person program at the Union County Agriculture Center. The program is free, but registration is requested via Eventbrite.