One of my favorite holiday traditions is decorating with live greenery.
It smells beautiful, doesn't look over done and stays fresh for up to a month.
My grandfather is skilled at this- he can make a mantle look Christmas-y like nobody's business.
He clips and weaves like Santa's elf.
Here's what I've learned from him...
1) Source your greens.
While you can pick up specialty green at any nursery (I love juniper, boxwood and Christmas tree scraps) the best greenery is found outside your home. I have two holly trees in my yard and they have so many berries.
Clip the greenery long so that you have room to prune away later.
2) Place your greens.
This is where the real magic begins. Select a spot that has space for greenery- a mantle or ledge will do nicely. Place the branches where they fall naturally. If you have holes or pieces that stick up awkwardly, don't fret- just fill in with extra greenery. Work with the natural ebb and flow of the bend in the branches.
This takes patience, so take your time- sip some cider and listen to your favorite tunes!
3) Use the leftovers in unusual ways.
There are bound to be a few extra pieces... this year, I put mine on the bannisters and hung pieces apothecary-style on nails around the house with a swoosh of ribbon.
Finally, the last scraps went into my market basket by the front door... a perfect polish!
Mist once a week with water... live greenery will live for up to one month with proper watering.