Holiday greens ideas

City sidewalks, pretty sidewalks, dressed in holiday style! Great ideas but we've no pine branch for clipping! 

Some problems have no solution. All we can do is to share the pain and ease it a bit with laughter. For instance, whyizzit that:

Why, oh why do we forget every year to delay pruning our evergreens until late fall? If we had all those boxwood, spruce and pine clippings now it would be a snap to copy some of the nifty ideas we see while we're doing our holiday shopping.

Urn at right

A simple and classy composition in the city of Northville, Michigan. Every bit of the contents home-growable to zone 4, save one silk poinsettia:

  • Redtwig dogwood (Cornus sericea) can be cut the the ground every year. Perhaps best to cut it in early spring but at least 1/3 the canes can harvested in fall from a well sited plant without noticeable effect. (See Forum discussion of cut back timing, beginning with Caryopteris.) The straight red stems that center this arrangement grew this tall in just one growing season.
  • Golden willow (Salix alba vitellina 'Britzensis'). A tree that can be coppiced regularly for canes like this. In a home landscape, best to cut it annually or it will go out of control. One year's growth of coppice wood can be 10'.
  • Winterberry ( Ilex verticillata)
  • Balsam fir (Abies spp.)

Low and easy


Fir, some pine boughs and a bit of redtwig dogwood to support plastic ornaments.

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Force roses in warm water and sun so they open wide, thread them into place on a wreath and hang it where it will stay cold. The roses can last for weeks. As an alternative, use silk roses. (Gardenviews store, Northville, MI.)

Tall and stately

Below, left: White birch or poplar branches hung with boxwood balls, and fir at their feet.

Below, right and bottom: Twisted willow/Corkscrew willow (Salix matsudana 'Tortuosa') with various ornamental kale and squash bedded in juniper boughs and Douglas fir branches.

Both arrangements at Fleur Detroit in Bloomfield Hills, MI.

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