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The holidays are in our nature

There's nothing like the aroma and beauty of fresh greenery during the holidays. Seasonal greenery provides a backdrop for holiday decorations and can be embellished as little or as much as you like. Living greenery can add festive cheer to virtually every space inside the house and out. Place greenery on walls, tables, mantels, the hearth, on the floor, and on chandeliers. Heap them in vases, garland your doorways, banisters, mirrors, or even place in a pretty mug on the kitchen counter. Decorate outdoors with fresh greenery on shutters, gates, on and over doorways, columns, mailboxes and light posts. There are plenty of ways to use fresh greenery for the holidays. Just use your imagination and have a little fun! Below are some suggested varieties to use in your holiday decorating:

White PineNope, it's not white ~ but a soft, bluish-green, long-needled pine that has excellent needle retention. A popular decorating choice for wreath swags and garland.

JuniperFragrant, short, green or silver-blue needles that usually include small blue berries. Perfect for accenting wreaths and garlands or any holiday centerpieces.

HollyA classic holiday green available several forms, green or variegated. Female plants display bright red berries.

Boxwood – this small-leafed shrub is a longtime favorite for fine-textured wreaths and garland. It has an aroma that is either loved or hated.

MagnoliaConsider using Magnolia for decorating. It boasts large, glossy leaves, with dark green that contrast well with the velvety, brown undersides. Magnolia leaves make stunning wreaths and bases for large decorations. The leaves hold up well even without water. Try spray painting them with gold or silver for a more formal look.

TIP: Some other excellent evergreens that can be used for holiday greenery include Arborvitae, Ligustrum, Pittosporum, Podocarpus, Viburnum, Nandina and Leyland Cypress.

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Merry Berries

Grab holiday inspiration from your own garden with berry-producing shrubs. There are several options from deciduous to evergreens, providing you with a ready source of bountiful berries. Our designers love using fresh berries for holiday decorating. Try adding them to fresh or faux greenery to create a pop of natural color. Whether you are trying to adorn your mantle, create an eye-catching table-scape or sprucing up your outdoor containers - berries make wonderful fillers! With just a little planning, you can grow these garden jewels and create your own unique decorations for Christmases to come.

Some of our berry best picks are:

Winterberry Holly ‘Southern Gentleman’ is a deciduous shrub with rich deep green foliage on an oval-rounded form. Plant as a pollenizer for Sparkleberry Winterberry. Produces no berries.

Winterberry Holly 'Winter Red’ is a tough, easy to grow shrub that looks great in mass and produces bright red berries. Once this deciduous shrub drops its leaves, the berries become the real star of the show! Since it maintains its color and berries as a cut branch, it is a very popular choice to use in floral arrangements.

Holly Nellie R. Stevens is an easy to grow classic. This evergreen shrub produces bold red berries against a deep green foliage.

Heavenly Bamboo or Nandina Domestica is an evergreen shrub that grows almost anywhere. With attractive foliage, this hardy shrub produces bright, red berries. In spite of the name, it is not a bamboo, but does grow vertically up from the roots.

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Fresh from the Farm


Bring the family out to experience your local Christmas Shoppe as you select the perfect family tree this year! Available from 2 feet all the way up to 12 feet.

Here's a little tree trivia for you curious folks…
The beloved Fraser fir was named for John Fraser, a Scottish botanist who explored the southern Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina in the late 1700s. It is a pyramid-shaped tree that reaches a maximum height of 80 feet and a trunk diameter of 1-1/2 feet. The species is sometimes called Southern balsam or Southern balsam fir.

The Fraser fir grows naturally only in the southern Appalachians, above 3,000 feet. The cool temperatures and lots of rainfall of the North Carolina High Country are what causes the Fraser fir to keep its needles throughout the Christmas season. The strong branches are turned slightly upward which gives the tree a compact appearance and makes it perfect for decorating.

Over 50 million Fraser firs are grown in North Carolina on 25,000 acres for use as Christmas trees, and the Fraser fir represents over 90% of all the trees grown in North Carolina as Christmas trees. Christmas Trees haven't always been a Christmas Tradition. No one really knows who put up the first Christmas tree, but some historians believe that even the Egyptians and Romans used some form of an evergreen to decorate their homes in late December.

What a treasure to purchase a tree grown this close to home. When you purchase a McDonald tree, they come straight from the farm in North Carolina so this Christmas icon will stay fresh and looking good all season long.

McDonald Garden Center offers three options for a Fraser Fir. The traditional tree is full with a traditional, pyramidal shape and lots of branches for displaying ornaments. The Natural Fraser captures that all natural, fresh from the farm feeling. It is more open allowing ornaments to hang nicely. The other option is a tabletop Fraser perfect for adding big impact to a small space.


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