December Decorating Part 1

December Decorating Part II
Cranberries, Not Just Another Thanksgiving Side Dish*

December is a busy month. What to do first? Decorating and planting are at the top of any gardener’s list. Relaxing would be nice too, try to work it in.

Decorate – Fresh Greens for Inside or Out
  • During the holidays it is your choice to deck the entire house or to focus on areas like the front door, entry and main living areas. Do you go for fresh or artificial greenery, maybe a combination of the two? How about bright colors and additional live plantings that will transition into the New Year?
  • For fresh greenery—garden retailers and many grocery stores sell Christmas trees, wreaths and attractive bundles of assorted greenery. Christmas tree lots often have a box of trimmed fir branch cuttings that are free for the taking, just ask first. Consider getting a permit to cut a Christmas tree, then use the branches for decorating. Click here for permitting and more information.
Greenery for Swags or Wreaths
  • The key for longer lasting fresh cut greenery is regular moisture from misting and using anti-desiccant sprays (sold at garden centers) to seal the leaves and pores on the bark to hold in moisture.
  • Wear gloves and do your work over a tarp – greens will be sticky and messy! When making garlands, swags or wreaths for decorating set the stems in room-temperature water for a few hours before making the display. Use a hand pruner to make diagonal cuts through the stems, and then gently crush the exposed end—this will help with water uptake. Set the stems back in the water for a few hours before assembly and decorating.

Transporting Fresh Flowers Home from the Store 

    • When transporting flowers of any type – cut bouquets, seasonal plants (poinsettias, cyclamen, etc.) it is important to protect them from cold temperatures when you leave the store and the ride home in your car.

    Assorted greens make a simple, pretty holiday centerpiece
    • When checking out of the store or garden center ask for a double layer of paper (may still not be warm enough for sensitive plants with temperatures in the 20s and 30s). 

    • For better plant protection, I bring a large, soft sided cooler (which also keeps food warm) into the store and let it warm up while shopping. A sturdy box with a plastic or makeshift cover would work too. In go the plants at check out, and once zipped or covered, they’re nice and warm for the ride home. Greenery bundles aren’t cold sensitive and should be fine without extra bundling. 

        December Decorating Part II
        Cranberries, Not Just Another Thanksgiving Side Dish*
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