Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Front Porch (and helping Christmas Evergreens last longer)

One of my favourite things to do from season to season is to change the appearance of our front porch.  I enjoy putting together my planters to reflect the changing seasons while hopefully creating a welcoming first impression for our guests.
Arranging local greens such as cedar, boxwood and pine in an inexpensive galvanized bucket from IKEA creates the perfect winter bouquet, which will be further enhanced with a little sprinkle of fresh snow. 

 A hanging basket - once holding a lush fern - is now blooming with more winter greens.

Some freshly cut birch anchor the display.  A couple of pine cones and some fresh berries tie it all together. 

 Inside, I made simple arrangements using old picnic baskets as planters.

 Pretty, right?
Unfortunately, the reality of using winter greens indoors is that eventually they will dry out and their splendor will literally wilt.


But there are ways of preserving your pretty arrangements so they last a little longer.  Here are a few (obvious) tips:

1. If using them indoors, pine, fir and cedar usually last a little longer than other greenery
2. Before you purchase greenery, bend the needles to test the freshness; if they are brown or break easily, buy somewhere else 
3. Only buy or cut greenery close to when you plan to use them
4. If you choose to buy them ahead of time, keep them outside or in the garage to keep them cool, bringing them inside only when you plan to display them
5. Before displaying a wreath or draping garland, soak them over night in a bathtub filled with water so they absorb as much water as possible
6. As with some other fresh cut flower or plants, re-cut the ends and pound them with a hammer so they will absorb more water 
7. Mist every couple of days to keep them fresh
8. Do not use greens around open flames like candles or open fireplaces 
9. When possible, make arrangements using jars or containers and change water regularly
10. Be aware of poisonous greens such as ivy, mistletoe and others

I made most of my displays at home by inserting regular glass jars filled with water and then placing the greens in the jars. This will hopefully ensure they last past Christmas. 

I used an inexpensive wreath from Ikea and inserted some fresh greens to fill it out.
  
What about you?  Do you use fresh winter greens or do you use artificial garlands?  Or both?

I hope you found some of those little tips helpful.

Thank you for your visit today.  Have a great day!

much love,



17 comments:

  1. I love your use of all the fresh greenery! I'm sure it smells amazing at your house too :) -Jen

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  2. Your fresh greens look wonderful, beautiful in your arrangements....I hope they'll last a long time !!

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  3. Your's all look terrific. I use a Maaaaaaaaaatha Stewart wreath that has lights and pinecone, then stick some fresh greens and add a bow.

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  4. Beautiful Lucy! Your porch is so inviting! Thanks for the tips I am spritzing my greens everyday in our home.Next year I will remember to soak my wreath.I also placed some of mine in that floral foam helps keep them moist in containers.
    xx
    Anne

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  5. Great tips Lucy, your porch looks beautiful!!!

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  6. Thanks for the tips. I never knew to soak wreaths or garland in the tub beforehand. Great idea.

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  7. Those are great tips for keeping greenery fresh! I have several fresh wreaths around my house and I should probably mist them to preserve them.

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  8. Great tips! Where were you a few weeks ago? :) I just had to throw away my whole suitcase vignette, the pine boughs lost all their needles, now I know what to do next year.

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  9. Love those double doors and what great tips!!!

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  10. I read on another blog to use "wilt-pruf" on your greenery to keep them fresh -- but I do know this is not cheap. Has anybody used this?

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  11. Once again I LOVE everything, and the entrance to your house is stunning :)
    xo

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  12. Looks really beautiful and inviting! I didn't do a great job on my front porch this year (at least not yet) but your porch is an inspiration!

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  13. Yes, I would love to come into your house! So inviting and warm. Love your style Lucy!

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  14. Love the tips! Your front porch is beautiful. I've been using only fresh greenery this year... so far it has retained its color... fortunately I've been getting it from our back yard though. :-)

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  15. Your porch looks beautiful. I love all the greenery and different containers. Thanks for sharing the tips.
    Ruth

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  16. I love your porch! I go around my yard and cut Hemlock, Yew, Holly, and Magnolia. I then go to my back porch and make many garlands and arrangements. I give several to friends but I love the look and smell of fresh greenery.

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  17. Oh this is beautiful!! I want a pretty porch like this. And thanks for the tips about all of the greenery! I tend to have a black thumb when it comes to plants... I need all the help I can get!

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