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Decorating
How Decorate with Fresh Greenery
There's nothing like the natural look and heavenly scent of real greenery
  A few years ago, I bought some fresh greenery from a local market and tucked it into the arms of my dining room chandelier. Sprigs of pine mingled with juniper, bay and cedar. The smell was heavenly, and I loved the classic, casual look it brought to my holiday decorating. This set me on... Keep Scrolling
Written and photographed by Marian Parsons


 

Fresh greenery in the form of natural garlands and real wreaths are an essential part of Miss Mustard Seed's Christmas decor.
Use fresh greenery in the form of natural garlands and wreaths to add a lovely scent and festive feel to your home.

A few years ago, I bought some fresh greenery from a local market and tucked it into the arms of my dining room chandelier. Sprigs of pine mingled with juniper, bay and cedar. The smell was heavenly, and I loved the classic, casual look it brought to my holiday decorating. This set me on a path of minimizing the bins of stored Christmas décor in favor of using fresh wreaths, garlands and trees wherever possible.

A natural garland of fresh greenery decorates Miss Mustard Seed's staircase.
A garland of natural greenery with white ribbon adds an elegant, and informal touch to the staircase.

Forage for Free Fresh Greenery

What started with one chandelier evolved into clipping greenery from my yard, as well as gathering pinecones and evergreen boughs from the yards of friends and family. I made my own swags, garlands and Advent wreaths, and tucked in pinecones and sprigs wherever they would work in my home. Trimmings from live Christmas trees I saved and used throughout my home.

Fresh greenery hangs from the chandelier in Miss Mustard Seed's dining room. The Blue painted hutch features a yarn pom-pom wreath and the petite Christmas tree is placed nearby in an antique wooden wagon.
The small, wooden wagon makes a unique display for a petite tree in the dining room.

The result was holiday décor that subtly changed with each new holiday season, depending on what kind of greenery I could scrounge or buy. I relished the creative process that I reclaimed after years of putting the same décor in the same place simply because that was the way it had always been. And the look created with fresh greens is classic and cozy, making them a choice that will never go out of style.

A blue painted bench creates a welcoming winter scene on Marian Parson's front porch. Fresh greenery strung with lights completes the look.
A natural garland strung with lights is a cheerful touch to the front porch, where it frames the window with its inviting presence.

Tips for using fresh greenery to decorate your home for the holidays:

  • Use greenery that feels well hydrated when it’s purchased or clipped.
  • Store the branches and sprigs in a cool place until you’re ready to use them. If you live in a cool climate, just leave them outside on a porch or deck.
  • Give the clippings some water before bringing them inside. Submerge them in a plastic tub for a few hours, and then pat them dry prior to using them in your home.
  • As an extra precaution, spray the fresh greenery with a product that seals the leaves to prevent wilting.
  • Greenery can last in a home for 3 to 4 weeks if there is enough humidity (especially if you use humidifiers or have hot-water radiators). If your home is very dry during the winter months, though, the greenery will dry out in a matter of days. If that’s the case, skip the frustration of crispy, shedding greenery inside and simply decorate with it outside, where it will last for several weeks. Preserved greenery, pinecones and realistic artificial sprigs would be better options for inside.

For more on Marian Parsons, visit missmustardseed.com.

Fresh greenery in the form of natural garland, frosted wreath and topiaries create a welcoming winter scene on Miss Mustard Seed's front door.
Guests are greeted by a natural garland strung with lights that frames the front door. A frosted wreath and two potted plants with added greenery complete the look.

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