ABCs of Holiday Decor

We were glad to hear recently from a reader who found useful examples in What's Coming Up 165, "Cutting Holiday Greens."

Here's a 1-2-3, A-B-C explanation of those examples, plus some additional ideas for arranging evergreen boughs and other material from your garden.

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Cut some greens, follow this guide and make your doorway distinctive this winter.

Here's a 1-2-3 example...

...using cuttings gathered as we closed up a garden.

There are two armloads of greens spread on the lawn: A dark green Bosnian pine (Pinus leucodermis), light green arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis), silvery bluestar juniper (Juniperus squamata), and crabapple branches with persistent, marble-sized red fruit.

There are two armloads of greens spread on the lawn: A dark green Bosnian pine (Pinus leucodermis), light green arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis), silvery bluestar juniper (Juniperus squamata), and crabapple branches with persistent, marble-sized red fruit.

First, we set height and width.

First, we set height and width.

Second, we added a red complement.

Second, we added a red complement.

Third, we filled.

Third, we filled.

A little accent goes a long way. After putting a bit of red into the arrangement on the left, we decided to match it by using red paint to highlight the neighboring arrangement's dry bush clover stalks (Lespedeza thunbergii).

A little accent goes a long way. After putting a bit of red into the arrangement on the left, we decided to match it by using red paint to highlight the neighboring arrangement's dry bush clover stalks (Lespedeza thunbergii).

One spruce top* for height, several arborvitae tops* fanned around the spruce for width, and then some red-painted cones from Japanese white pine (Pinus parviflora). All greens are from *the previous day's pruning to keep a spruce small and to prevent snow splay by eliminating the multiple leaders in an arborvitae hedge.

One spruce top* for height, several arborvitae tops* fanned around the spruce for width, and then some red-painted cones from Japanese white pine (Pinus parviflora). All greens are from *the previous day's pruning to keep a spruce small and to prevent snow splay by eliminating the multiple leaders in an arborvitae hedge.

* the previous day's pruning

About that pruning: Can you tell the five foot spruce top above was just removed from the Koster dwarf blue spruce at right? It's true. Fifteen minutes before this photo was taken, this spruce was five feet taller.

To see how we did it, check out our demonstrations of keeping spruce small in Reduce a Spruce.

As for limiting arborvitaes to one leader, Sponsor us, please, to help us post these No Splay Arbs and other arb-clipping photos plus their supporting details.

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