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BEACON Senior News - Western Colorado

Spruce up your home with these winter decorations

Nov 22, 2021 03:23PM ● By Lori Rose
Woven basket holds pine branches, pinecones and decorative stars for winter decor

Decorating the house with fresh greenery is one of winter’s oldest traditions. Evergreens have been a part of winter festivals since ancient times. They were used to represent everlasting life and hope for the return of spring. 

There’s a great feeling of satisfaction in collecting and arranging your own winter decorations. There are no rules—let the assortment you collect guide you. 

Tips for arranging

Ivy, pine and holly will add a fresh, natural scent to your home and give your arrangements a unique look. Experiment with garlands, swags and centerpieces for indoors, and door toppers of greens and fruits, or containers of greenery, twigs and cones for outdoors. Place a beautiful wreath on your front door. 

When gathering live greenery from shrubs and trees, remember you’re actually pruning the plants. Consider carefully which branches to cut and which ones to leave. Distribute the cuts evenly around the plant to preserve its natural form, and be sure to use a sharp, clean pruner. While you’re outside, also look for acorns, pine cones, dried hydrangea blossoms, rose hips and bright orange pyracantha berries (but watch out for the thorns). 

When you get your treasures home, smash the ends of woody stems with a hammer and soak them in water overnight before arranging. Tie florist’s wires to sprigs of berries, rose hips, pine cones or acorns to make them easy to attach to your arrangements. Enjoy the fresh scent while you’re working with evergreens, but know it’s fleeting. 

To keep your home smelling like fresh-cut pine boughs, pick up a scented spray at a gift shop. Don’t think of it as cheating; think of it as enhancing nature’s bounty.

English ivy, Boston ivy and Virginia creeper are common ground covers, and can also be found growing up trees and telephone poles. They make a lovely addition to any arrangement but must be kept in water or they will dry out quickly. Use florist’s water vials to keep them fresh in wreaths, swags or garlands, and check the water frequently.

Incorporating flowers


Just because it’s winter, don’t forget flowers when coming up with unique ways to decorate. Flowers lift our spirits throughout the year and are especially welcome during the hectic holiday season. No matter what colors you choose, adding flowers to your home will make you smile even on the dreariest winter day.

Make a jar of water enhanced with floral preservatives to use for the flowers in your decorations. Place individual or small groups of flowers in a florist’s water vial and check the water daily. 

Add the finishing touch to winter decorations with groups of three bright red flowers tied together with holiday ribbon. Space them evenly around a wreath, or place them at intervals along an evergreen swag or garland. Add them to vases or pots of evergreens, twigs and cones. Carry the look throughout the house by laying flowers on a holiday tree, along a bookcase, or tucked into the china cabinet.

Place individual flowers in beautiful glass ornaments filled with water and hang them from the tree, the chandelier or a holiday swag. Fill a crystal bowl with golden glass ornaments and tuck red flowers around the ornaments. Or, fill the bowl with white flowers and accent it with deep green ornaments. For a festive centerpiece, fill a silver bowl with blue glass ornaments studded with white roses.

Nothing goes together quite as well as candles and winter. But please, do not use candles around fresh greens. Instead, try vases of fresh flowers and candles of different heights together on a sideboard, hutch or entry table. Then, take the mood from festive to magical by standing a mirror behind the arrangement to enhance the glow. Turn down the lights, stand back and enjoy.

Winter doesn’t have to be dull. Step outside on a sunny winter day and gather some fun and interesting branches, twigs, berries and cones. Then come inside and play with them over a mug of something warm and sweet. 

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