I love decorating with a mix of fresh and faux greenery during the holidays. The heavenly smell of fresh cedar and pine throughout the house gets everyone in the holiday spirit. I usually put greenery up before any other Christmas décor so that we can enjoy some simple winter holiday vibes before the Christmas craziness sets in! Keep reading for my best holiday greenery decorating ideas and sources!
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Christmas greenery is a term used to describe the trees, garlands, wreaths, sprigs and branches that we use to decorate our homes during the holidays. Nothing says winter holiday to me more than snow falling gently on a front porch festooned with fresh green garland, ribbons and twinkle lights!
Decorating our homes with greenery can be traced back to pagan times. Many pagan traditions included circles and wreaths with candles representing the four elements. Evergreen trees were revered as symbols of life as they remained untouched throughout the winter as other plants and trees shed their leaves and withered. And dwellings would be decorated with sprigs of greenery to welcome the solstice and ward off evil spirits.
Decorating with natural elements like greenery, pinecones, citrus garlands, foraged stems, berries and fresh-cut wood is a timeless tradition that will never go out of style!
So when should you use faux greenery and when should you use fresh greenery in your holiday decorating? Each type of greenery has pros and cons and I use each type in different ways:
Use fresh greenery anywhere it won’t dry out or make too much mess and faux greenery for hot spots like the fireplace mantle or over a kitchen window.
For example, we live in a cold climate so I use fresh garlands and wreaths on our front porch. When it’s -20ºC outside it actually freeze-dries the greenery and preserves it so that it will last all season with no misting or maintenance required. If you lived somewhere hot, faux might be a better option for your front porch!
I’ve used a mix of faux and fresh Christmas greenery in past years to decorate our home. You can see how I’ve switched up our style each year:
There are so many types of greenery to choose from during the holidays, but these are my favourites:
I love adding faux greenery indoors when I decorate. If I hang a garland over the kitchen window, I don’t want needles dropping into the sink or all over the counter. Faux is so much easier to install in areas I want to keep mess-free. I used a faux cedar garland with real dried orange slices in the kitchen the year before last. It looked pretty and lasted the whole season!
I also always use faux garland and greens around the fireplace. We have a wood-burning insert that is actually capable of heating the whole house in the winter and it gets really hot! Real greenery would dry out very quickly and would be a fire hazard in this area. But faux garland and greenery sprigs in the stockings worked perfectly and still gave me the look I’m after!
I like to use fresh greenery outside where I’m not as bothered if it makes a mess. I usually use this fresh garland around the front door and window and I love how the real greens tie in with the wintery landscape and the snowy evergreen trees on the property.
Sometimes I’ll add baskets or vases filled with fresh-cut green stems inside as well just for the scent!
I usually hit up the same places each year for greenery. My go-to sources for fresh greens are Costco (online) and Home Depot. Costco has 25ft lengths of pine & red cedar garland available starting in November and Home Depot also carries 10ft lengths of fresh cut red cedar garland.
If you are Canadian, one of the best sources for holiday décor including garlands, wreaths and trees is Canadian Tire! They have some really reasonably priced faux cedar wreaths & garland. And we bought this tree on sale last year.
Of course, HomeSense (HomeGoods would be the equivalent if you are in the US) is always worth checking out as well. They usually have a good selection of wreaths & garlands and sometimes faux boxwood topiaries in store.
Looking for more winter and holiday décor ideas? SHOP WINTER
If you are buying fresh greens from the store you should recut the stems at a 45º angle and slightly crush the ends if they are woody before putting them in water. If you have fresh garland or wreaths, spritz them with water daily and keep them cool if possible to make them last longer.
Use 3M command hooks to hang greenery on mantles, walls or furniture without making holes. The hooks are clear so you can’t see them behind the wreath or garland and they are strong enough to hold the weight of the greens. If you are hanging outside in a very cold climate you may have to warm the surface before you apply.
With proper care, fresh greenery will last for about 2 weeks indoors. Greenery will dry out quickly outdoors in hot climates, but will last the entire season if frozen outdoors in cold climates!
I hope you’ve enjoyed these holiday greenery decorating ideas! You may also enjoy”