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DO-IT-YOURSELF CHRISTMAS CONTAINER

Creating an outdoor arrangement of fresh greens in an urn or other container is a wonderful way to add holiday cheer and life to your front steps, porch or walk. Even if you’re not using other outdoor holiday decorations, a festive container arrangement at your entryway is a beautiful way to greet guests. Red and green are traditional Christmas colors, and they look fantastic together to convey that festive spirit. Best of all, those colors can be found right in nature, maybe svn in your own backyard.

To create the basic container, we used evergreens and annuals. Evergreens add the thriller to a container and can be kept and maintained through all seasons. Annuals add seasonal color and can be swapped out each season.

To decorate the container, we incorporated seasonal greens to give it that Christmas feel. We like starting with fresh greens like Fraser Fir for the first layer. Then search around your yard to find other fresh items that will work such as juniper, magnolia, nandina, holly, spruce, boxwood and berries.

What You'll Need:

  • Large Container
  • Ornamental Kale - this low grower, offers a unique texture
  • Pansies - these tough little flowers are availabe in tons of colors and are some of the longest blooming flowers of the cool season/li>
  • Sky Pencil Holly - with dark green foliage, this evergreen grows in a narrow, columnar shape -- a perfect thriller for your container
  • fresh-cut greens such as firs, juniper, magnolia, nandina, holly, spruce, boxwood and berries
  1. Fill the container with soil and plant the evergreens and the annuals. Be sure to add an all-purpose fertilizer like McDonald GreenLeaf.
  2. Then add the first layer of greens. The fraser fir greens can just be stuck in the container to make for easy removal after the holiday season.
  3. Continue adding additional greens and berries to the container.
  4. Add ribbon, picks or shatterproof ornaments for extra pizazz.

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DO-IT-YOURSELF BOXWOOD WREATH

Give your front door a makeover this season with this Christmas door decorating idea. Simple and festive, wreaths are the perfect way to welcome holiday guests into your home.

The simplicity of a boxwood wreath makes a great statement on your front door, above your mantle or on a mirror. All the decorating magazines are showing a simple wreath, with a simple bow for understated elegance. By preserving your wreath, it can add beauty throughout multiple seasons, however it will need to be stored properly to ensure its longevity.

What You'll Need:

  • Fresh-cut boxwood greens
  • 18-inch wreath form
  • Floral wire
  • Ribbon
  1. Collect cuttings of a boxwood fresh from the plant. We recommend using small pieces with stems that are not so woody.
  2. Start on one side of the wreath form by clumping several branches together and using a half piece of wire – attach to the form.
  3. Continue around the wreath form securing the cuttings. Be sure to attach the wire securely, as the weight of the boxwood will become heavy as you start to add more.
  4. Pick your ribbon – choose from a variety of burlap ribbon and tie a simple shoe lace type bow. Or, you can make a long loop and knot at the top.

Plant of the Week:

CHRISTMAS CACTUS

Looking for a plant full of charming holiday color? The holiday season is full of traditions and holiday plants have played an important role in seasonal celebrations for centuries. While Christmas trees, poinsettias and mistletoe immediately come to mind, they are not alone. There are other plant options that boast Yuletide. The Christmas cactus is yet another popular holiday plant. This thornless member of the cactus family has flat green foliage, which flower periodically. Blooms are tubular in shape and come in varying shades of reds, pinks, whites and yellows. This houseplant is easy to care for making them the perfect gift for those with or without a green thumb.

Christmas cactus prefers bright, indirect light, so be sure to keep it in a well-lit location away from drafts, heat vents and other sources of hot air. Drafts and temperature extremes can cause the flower buds to drop from the plant before they have a chance to open. And, unlike most other cactus, this one requires light to moderate watering. Christmas cactus is a great way to add a burst of color indoors during the holiday season and throughout the winter months ahead.

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