Decorating for the holidays: Evergreen arrangements
fresh evergreen arrangement
You know, so many of us have artificial Christmas trees these days. For most of us, it’s a case of saving money and having a tree that doesn’t dry out over the season. It is also a matter of convenience. Less hassle to have an artificial tree and we don’t have to worry about straight trunks or the tree having a “bad side” to it.
But, we’ve sacrificed one of the best things about having a live tree in our homes: The rich scent of the Christmas tree, whether of pine or fir.
So, how to have our cake and eat it too??
Well, if you are like me, buying those room sprays or even candles often doesn’t duplicate the true scent of a Christmas tree adequately. Many of them are close, but not quite on the mark.
One of the best ways to add an authentic scent to the air is to add floral arrangements made of evergreen cuttings.
Now, most of us have a pine tree, spruces, cedars, junipers, or firs growing in our yards. If we don’t, we can find the greens relatively easily. Most Christmas tree farms offer either free branches cut from the bottoms of the trees for customers when they purchase their trees. That, or they will charge a nominal fee for cuttings.
Whichever way you gather these evergreen cuttings, if you prep them before using them, you can add authentic Christmas scent to your home.
Start with fresh cuttings. Be sure to use a sharp pair of pruners to cut the end pieces of the stems–be forewarned, though; the cut ends often will leak a little sticky sap. You might wish to use gloves when cutting.
Once cut, plunge the cuttings in water for several hours for them to take up water. By plunge, I mean submerge them.
In the meantime, gather the glass bowls, vases, or baskets you intend to use for your arrangements. You can use empty small butter or sour cream containers, cut floral foam to fit tightly, and add to baskets or other non-waterproof containers. You can later on hide the foam and container with a little moss. Remove and soak the foam until saturated, place back in the container.
Remove the cuttings and cut again: About 1/4 of an inch.
Starting at the outside with the longest branches, add branches all the way around the base of the foam. Add progressively shorter stems, working your way into the middle. You can add other decorative touches such as a flameless candle in the center, some ornaments, some cones and ribbons.
Keep the arrangement misted and do not allow the foam to dry out. If you find a few branches are brittle or browning, you can remove and replace the stems with fresh cuttings treated the same way.
These arrangements, if kept watered and misted, will last up to a month and will hold their fragrance well.