Gather holiday inspiration from your landscape
Fresh cut greens from your own pines, spruce, boxwood, holly and yews are always going to stay fresh longer than any greens you purchase. Most plantings could use a little pruning for out of control growth or crossing branches. Evergreen boughs cut with extra long stems will hold tight in your winter containers even in the stiffest Nebraska winds. It’s easy to wire together bunches of stems and hang on your mailbox or as door swags. Check your craft and fabric stores for colorful and durable netted ribbon that holds up well in outdoor conditions, and looks good no matter how much wind blows your way.
Winterberry, chokeberry, crabapples and hawthorns provide a harvest of decorative fruit for urns, wreaths and centerpieces.
Pinecones are plentiful and a natural for holiday decorating. We had good luck bleaching these Southwestern White Pine cones for some color interest. Soak the cones in a bleach solution of 3 parts water to 1 part bleach for 1 to 2 days. Rinse the bleached cones before using in arrangements.
Topiary forms that supported your annual vines can be lighted for the holidays. The popular metal garden spheres available at Finke Gardens are perfect when nested on blue spruce branches.
And if your front door landscape is looking a little bleak, remember to plant a few “winter-quality” plants next spring so you’ll be ready for next winter.