There are two camps when it comes to fresh vs. faux greenery for the holidays. Some say, "either/or", but I say,"Use both!" I love the smell of fresh greenery during the holidays but don’t like the mess it can often create. To give your artificial garland more style, head out your backdoor and look for anything green. To augment foraged greenery, you can attempt to use the discarded trimmings from Christmas tree lots, your local nursery or even a florist. Mix the fresh branches with faux garland to give your greenery a more substantial and authentic look. Depending on where you plan on using the greenery, how long you might need it to last or if there is a sap problem on finished wood, faux greenery mixed with fresh rises to the occasion effortlessly. Combining the two together will give you a wide range of possibilities for your Christmastime decorating. Here are a few easy ideas for stunning fresh and faux greenery displays.
The trick is to start with artificial garland or an artificial wreath. Snip your fresh greenery at varying lengths, especially if you are using a variety of greens. Then take branch and begin inserting them here and there. Working branches of pine and cedar into artificial garland goes pretty quick once you start. Using the wire that is already in the garland, twist the fresh branches into place. Step back, take a look and add a little more until you have it covered. It doesn’t matter how tattered the artificial wreath or garland looks, the fresh greenery will turn them into beautiful arrangements fooling even the most discerning eye. You can reuse them year after year, it's a good investment to make.
Another idea is to add fruit to your Christmas designs. It will give you a look that's completely over-the-top. Integrate lemons, oranges and limes into your greenery for a pop of citrus bright. Pomegranates, apples and pineapples will last a long time in a garland or wreath, especially when it's used outside in a cold climate. Just take a long piece of wire and run it right through the middle of the fruit and wire it in.
Deep in the heart of Texas we like things big and bright, which means lots of twinkle lights. Designers use two sizes of Christmas lights, mini lights and over-sized old-fashioned bulbs, which give dimension to your decor. A good decorator's tip is to start with the fake garland, add your lights and then work in the fresh greenery so that the lights are softened and sort of peek through.
A hundred years ago, decorating your home for Christmas was as simple as stepping out your front door and using whatever was still green. Even now, it is very much a beloved tradition to use local greenery - an old tradition that, with a few tricks of the trade, lives on. I love working with fresh greenery, albeit fresh mixed with faux, as you snip branches and twist the boughs into a garland it just smells like Christmas!
~THE DOMESTIC CURATOR~