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Wreaths Add Festiveness to Holiday Decor

Sunday, December 3, 2023

The holiday season lends itself to many wonderful scents wafting through the home. The smell of the family’s favorite cookie in the oven or a batch of spiced cider simmering on the stove fills the home with warmth and may even spark a memory from holidays gone by.


Another prominent smell that is indicative of the holiday season is that of evergreens. Decorating with greenery is a great way to get into the holiday spirit. Homeowners who have evergreens on their property can do a little pruning and turn the greenery into a wreath. Although most pruning is done in late February or March, some light pruning now won’t hurt; however, be careful not to cut too much of the shrub just to get the greenery.  


When choosing what branches to prune, select those that would need to come off in the springtime anyway. Make sure to make proper pruning cuts in the process. If you cut too far back into a branch of pine or spruce, it will not grow back, so unless an entire branch needs to be removed for other reasons, it is best not to use these plants to collect greenery.


For those who may not have evergreens growing on their property, check with local garden centers that sell trees or even a local tree farm to see if they are selling cuttings. Buying fresh evergreen cuttings online is another option.


Remember, all evergreens are not the same. Juniper and arborvitae are good choices, but pines and spruce aren’t because they don’t have dormant buds. Broadleaf evergreens work well. You can make a beautiful wreath from southern wax myrtle, cherry laurel and southern magnolia, and mixing it with eastern redcedar.


It takes a few supplies to make a wreath, including the plant materials, a wreath form, waxed linen twine, clippers and scissors. Take cuttings about a foot long the night before making the wreath. Place the stems in a bucket of water overnight to allow them to take up water. This is important because it will keep the wreath fresher longer.


Begin making the wreath by bunching a few of the cuttings together and placing them on top of the wreath form. Tie the twine to the form and then wrap it around the base of the cuttings and the form about three times. Overlap the next bunch of cuttings by about half and work around the frame in this manner until it is completely covered. When the wreath is complete, other items from the landscape can be used to decorate it, including holly berries, rose hips, crabapples and nandina berries.

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