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After the white pine, add other needled evergreens using a mix of textures and colors. Next, add in broadleaf greens such as Rhododendron, Pieris, Euonymus, and holly for focal points.

Once all the greens are in place, look for other natural embellishments to add into the mix. Lichen-covered pine branches, often with pinecones still attached, are beautiful when added to window boxes and urns. Such twigs and boughs routinely drop off of pitch pines during windstorms.

Nature's Gifts

Assorted pinecones make lovely additions to your holiday greenery. Loose cones can be secured by wrapping a strand of wire around the base of the cone so it can be tied in place. Search your yard for a variety of types and sizes, from the tiny hemlock cones to the sap-frosted cones that fall from white pines.

Other seedpods and fruits can be gathered from the landscape as well. Many rose bushes are still covered with dark red rose hips at this time of year, and these add festive touches when placed in with the greens.

Winterberry holly branches add a bright red note and many perennials such as iris have decorative seedpods that give geometric interest.

Add cones, berries, and pods to arrangements after all of the greens are in place. In most cases, this will finish things nicely, but if you still think that a little something more is needed, look to the far edges of the yard. Even the plants that we commonly think of as pesky weeds can be attractive for holiday décor.

Twisted wisteria vines are lovely when looped into arrangements; the dark color and contorted nature of these vines shows off well against greenery.

In addition to the abundance found in the backyard, many people like to finish off their arrangements with treasures found on the beach. Seashells and driftwood complement evergreens and celebrate not only the season, but also the seaside region where we live.

Just as a variety of natural materials contribute to decorations that are pleasing to the eye, an assortment of containers holding those greens are appealing too. Don’t be limited to filling traditional boxes or pots. Metal pails, clamming baskets, and birdbaths are charming when filled with holiday greenery. Many of these items add a unique sense of place for holiday celebrations on Cape Cod.

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About

C.L. Fornari is a well-known gardening expert on the Cape and Islands. She is an author, a lecturer, and a radio host on numerous gardening subjects.

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