Using Cuttings from Your Yard to Bring the “Outside In” this Christmas
Unfortunately many people limit their thoughts on cuttings from their yards to only mean colorful flowers – most of which bloom in the spring and summer. So once the temps turn cold, they put down their pruners and wait for the warmer months to come back around – all the while, missing out on so much beauty!
If that’s you, you’re in luck. This post is aimed to help you venture outside to gather other plant material that you can bring inside to warm things up a bit. And when you do we hope you’ll see that the fall and winter months offer an equally beautiful and potentially more interesting array of plant material to use in your Holiday displays. Cuttings from shrubs, perennials & trees … with leaves of various shapes, textures and colors … berries, and even sticks & twigs can all be used to beautify your indoor spaces.
You’re also in luck because creating beautiful, understated arrangements could not be easier. Keep reading and you’ll see what I mean.
Materials You Could Use
As with the other projects in this Outdoors-In Holiday Décor series you won’t need much in the way of materials.
- Pruners and scissors
- Cuttings from your yard – some of my favorites this time of year are: Cryptomeria; boxwoods; Magnolias; holly & nandina for their leaves and berries; and of course, Christmas tree trimmings.
- Containers: vases; mason jars; food jars; etc.
- Other potential plant material: twigs & sticks; flowers that are in season (e.g. Camellias); and colorful leaves that are still hanging on for dear life, but still have so much to offer (the leaves on my Dogwoods are still looking very purdy in my yard).
- Embellishments could include: twine; ribbon; burlap; pinecones, etc.
Instructions & Tips
Being a landscape designer, part of me would like to have some complicated, involved set of instructions for these projects to validate my profession and give me greater credibility. But I don’t. So I won’t. Instead, I’ll provide you with a few tips that will hopefully help you get started and some pictures of Britt’s and my creations to potentially inspire you along the way.
That said, what I’d like to do most is simply give you license to be creative and the assurance that you can do this. The beauty is in the plants themselves … all you need to do is give them a place to strut their stuff!
Here are those few tips I mentioned:
Always use sharp pruners. It will make your job easier and the plants you’re cutting from and bringing inside will thank you by staying healthier longer.
- If you’re not using the cuttings right away, throw them in a container with water until you’re ready to use them.
- For your creations using evergreens with needles, that aren’t dipping their toes in water, keep a spray bottle of water handy – misting them every few of days will help them from drying out so quickly.
- Likewise, if you can, try not to place your displays near a vent or in direct sunlight – this will give them a greater chance to last through the Holidays.
- For small arrangements, less is almost always more. A simple sprig of holly or handful of herbs with berries placed in a simple container is all you need to add that extra welcoming layer to any space.
- For swags that we hang on doors, the backs of chairs, or as a wall display, I find it easiest to grab the cuttings and hold them out like a bouquet, only upside down. Then I’ll pull the stems through my hand to adjust them into position before making the final cut.
- If you’re looking to turn the Holiday volume up a bit, embellish your understated masterpiece with a simple ribbon or twine, or add a few twigs that have been spray painted red, silver, or gold.
- Don’t aim for perfection. If you do, it will often stymy your efforts and leave you frustrated … and nobody got time for that! If you just let go a bit, I think you’ll enjoy the process more and ultimately find beauty in the imperfections.
- Regardless, let your creative juices flow. And if you think you’ve never had said juices or feel like you’re all squeezed out, I challenge you to simply stay the course … you’ll very likely surprise yourself.
With all the hustle and bustle, the Holiday season can unfortunately wear you out. But I guarantee … if you get outside, breathe some cool, fresh air and then work out all the busyness with your hands to make something beautiful, you’ll end up calibrating both your heart and mind to a much more peaceful place.
So get out there and see what you can discover in your own backyard (or your neighbors’!). Bring it inside and see what you can come up with. We hope this post helps you do just that!
We’re proud to be partnering with Monrovia … the plant company of all plant companies … on this Outdoors-In Holiday Décor series. And in case you didn’t know … for generations Monrovia has worked very hard to provide its customers with the healthiest and most beautiful plants to grace their homes and outdoor spaces. Regardless, all the thoughts and opinions shared on this post are ours.
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