Make your own very, berry holiday!

Create your own holiday decorations from nature’s buffet.  

Choose from a medley of freshly scented, evergreens such as forest-infused, cedar, pine and fir branches, glossy-leaved boxwood branches or magnificent, magnolia leaves to use as your ‘green’ foundation. Add a helping of holiday sparkle and texture with natural additions such as brilliant berries, seeds and unusual seed pods. Welcome family and friends at entrance ways, as well as garden gates with ‘inspired’ containers, wreaths and garland—filled with nature’s abundance.


Winterberry (Ilex verticillata) pictured: Multiple stems of red winterberries always brighten up fresh-cut evergreens in outdoor containers, wreaths or placed artfully in vases. This deciduous holly is unique from evergreen varieties because drops its golden foliage in autumn to reveal abundant, red berries on slender, woody stems. Nothing lends a brighter note to your arrangements than winterberries. Birds love these natural snacks, too!

Pepperberry (Schinus terebinthifolius): Pepperberries (Brazilian Pepper-tree or Christmas Berry) grow on large trees or shrubs in tropical and sub-tropical  climates. When used as a floral accent, these clusters of tiny berries add a pink-red color accent to outdoor container arrangements, wreaths and indoor garland. Combine them with fresh evergreens, dried red pomegranates, seeded eucalyptus or dried hydrangea blossoms for a long-lasting, holiday display.

American Holly (Ilex opaca): Here is the traditional holly that says ‘holidays’! This iconic, evergreen shrub/tree boasts glossy, deep green leaves and brilliant, red berries. American Holly can be grown in our zone 5 and thrives in partial sun, well-drained, organic or sandy soil with sufficient moisture. You can grow your own holiday holly decorations for next year, but remember to include at least one male plant with one or more female plants to insure a good crop of red berries. 

Mistletoe: According to Norse mythology, mistletoe is a sign of love. The ancient Druids used it to ward off evil spirits and to bring good luck to their households. Later, hanging mistletoe became a custom in England at Christmas time—where couples would exchange a holiday kiss under the mistletoe. The plant’s oval, evergreen leaves and waxy-white berries would make an interesting addition to your New Year’s festivities, too.

Seeded Eucalyptus (European Eucalyptus): The fragrant clusters of the seeded Eucalyptus have light-green seed/flowers that become the perfect filler for fresh-cut evergreens in containers, wreaths or bouquets. The thin, flat leaves are slightly, oblong and pointy—contrasting nicely with the airy quality of the seed sprays. 

Silver Bell Pods of California Eucalyptus: (E. tereticornis):  This Eucalyptus sports silvery-white pods that look like bells. The ‘bells’ are marble sized seedpods that hang in a row on ribbed, green-to-brown stems. Clusters look beautiful in a bouquet or included in holiday, outdoor containers. The white ‘bells’ contrast nicely with a range of green foliage and stand up to our winters.

Lotus Pods (Nelumbo nucifera): This unusual part of the lotus plant is the dried seedpod of an aquatic plant, the lotus (Indian lotus or Bean of India). It is native to the warm climates of India, China, Southern Asia and Australia. The pods are circular in shape and look much like the spout of a watering can. These naturally brown pods are also available in glittering gold, silver or red and with a woodsy-green, moss surface. The seedpods are attached to narrow, wooden sticks to make it easy to create floral arrangements with texture and exotic interest.

...and many more!

What’s the buzz? The sound of summer. Filling your garden with flowering plants that bees like is the perfect way to a part of the cycle of nature. Bees are hardworking insects—pollinating our crops and flowers for us and feeding themselves and their community at the same time. And, don’t forget the honey—one of nature’s simplest pleasures.