Festive Greenery: Holiday Decor from your Garden

Merrifield Garden Center custom wreath (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Merrifield Garden Center custom wreath (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Merrifield Garden Center custom wreath (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Each holiday season when thinking about holiday decor, I’m torn between purchasing pretty festive greenery, and cutting from my own garden landscape. The big box stores offer pre-fashioned wreaths and garlands that are either fresh or faux. Your local garden center will likely have both fresh and faux options that may be more unique. I much prefer the fresher components for their crisp feel and earthy fragrances. Time is usually a factor for me, so if I do have time, I will certainly make my own holiday decor. Below you will see some examples of my fresh and faux decor.

Cardinals decorate my stairway garland (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Cardinals decorate my stairway garland (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Some of my favorite holiday decor components are:

Holly with berries
Variegated Holly
Frasier Fir
Bay leaf
Pinecones
Nandina with berries
Arborvitae
Ivy
Mistletoe
Boxwood
Magnolia leaves

My loyal holiday standbys always include a wreath for the front door of the house, some wreaths and garlands to decorate our wooden fence railings and our shed’s front door, and some garlands for the inside of the house. Also, I love cinnamon-scented pinecones.

My front door's holiday decor! (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
My front door’s holiday decor! (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Some thoughts as to how you can use greenery from your garden:

1. Arrange greenery, pinecones, ivy clippings, and some berry-laden plant sprigs into your empty windowboxes or patio planters.

2. Use a small snippet of shiny holly with berries for a little holiday cheer tucked into your dinner table’s napkin rings!

Add a sprig of holly for a festive napkin (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Add a sprig of holly for a festive napkin (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

3. Fashion some spruce or other greenery into a wreath. Add holly berries, ivy, and pinecones, as well as maybe a cute faux red cardinal bird or flocked faux pheasant bird to the wreath. I have a faux quail bird in my front door’s wreath. One local live bird was not a fan, and used to tear the feathers away from the faux quail bird. Luckily, that live bird is long gone so I haven’t had to replace my faux quail this year. I have a stash of a few wreaths that I’ve designed over the years, so I can change them each year depending on my preferences and annual holiday theme.

The faux quail in my front door wreath (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
The faux quail in my front door wreath (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

4. You can drape a fresh or faux garland across your fireplace mantel, add some candle votives, some holly berry clippings, and some pretty lights. I used a fruit motif for my living room’s fireplace mantel to integrate the still life oil painting above by artist Buck Nelligan.

My Fireplace Mantel Garden with a Fruit Motif (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
My Fireplace Mantel Garden with a Fruit Motif (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

5. Take a garland and wrap it around your staircase railing either inside or outside. Add some pretty tree ornaments and some greenery and holly berry cuttings. Or you can use faux if you prefer to save your holiday decor to reuse the next year.

A faux garland with cardinals on my stair railing (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
A faux garland with cardinals on my stair railing (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
My faux stair garland (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
My faux stair garland (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

6. Peacock feathers are a festive addition to any holiday arrangement. If you don’t raise your own peacocks, their feathers are usually available from your local craft store. I use lots of peacock feathers in my holiday displays.

Peacock feathers adorn my holiday tree (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Peacock feathers adorn my holiday tree (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

7. Just a few greenery cuttings arranged around a pretty candle with a glass hurricane cover. The hurricane will offer a lovely glow. Be careful with lit candles and fresh greenery — you don’t want to have an unexpected fire!

I’m a big supporter of buying local products from your local purveyors. If you don’t have a lot of free time, you can ask your local garden center to create a special unique design just for you.

Here are some ideas from The Boar’s Head Inn, Charlottesville, VA:

Holiday decor in the Ordinary Room at the Boars Head Inn (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Holiday decor in the Ordinary Room at the Boars Head Inn (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
A festive garland at the Boars Head Inn, Charlottesville, VA (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
A festive garland at the Boars Head Inn, Charlottesville, VA (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

The Merrifield Garden Center in Fairfax, Virginia is one of my favorite local haunts. I recently captured some images of their festive holiday greenery design and preparation area and interior displays. Lots of “custom order” designs in the mix. Take a look at some photos from their displays over the years for your own ideas:

Merrifield Garden Center's Custom Wreath Nook (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Merrifield Garden Center’s Custom Wreath Area (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Custom Wreaths at Merrifield Garden Center (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Custom Wreaths at Merrifield Garden Center (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Stair Garland at Merrifield Garden Center (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Stair Garland at Merrifield Garden Center (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Festive Greenery in a Vase at Merrifield Garden Center (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Festive Greenery in a Vase at Merrifield Garden Center (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Pretty fireplace mantel display at Merrifield Garden Center (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Pretty fireplace mantel display at Merrifield Garden Center (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Festive Greenery and Berries at Merrifield Garden Center
Festive Greenery and Berries at Merrifield Garden Center (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Merrifield Garden Center custom wreath (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Merrifield Garden Center custom wreath (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
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