The post-Thanksgiving rush is on to get ready for the holidays and the gardening season is quickly becoming a memory. There is still plenty to do during this season including decorating your home with festive decor. Instead of shopping at the same store as your neighbor for the latest yard ornaments, why not create a festive custom look, that costs you next to nothing? Your holiday decor just might be hiding in your backyard. Here's how to make a gorgeous garland with your own greens. If you don't have greens in your yard, visit your local garden center and ask for leftover tree cuttings for no cost. We've also got some tips for helping out wildlife during the winter months.
Deck the Halls: Greens from your Garden
Materials & Supplies
- Jute twine cut to the length of the garland you want + extra for hanging
- Floral wire
- Your favorite Corona Hand Pruners
- Cut 6-inch pieces of greenery from your favorite shrubs and ornamental grasses. Make sure to cut pieces of varying colors and textures. (What you cut depends on where you live.)
- Make bundles of 3-5 pieces by wiring the cut ends of the pieces together. (You can bundle 3-5 cuttings from the same type of plant together or make bundles with a few different types of cuttings in each bunch.)
- Tie one end of your piece of twine to a doorknob and hold the twine taut.
- Start wiring the bundles to the twine. (Leave enough twine at the end to hang the garland.) Hold the first bundle, cut ends up, and tightly wrap the wire around the twine and the bundle. For the first one it helps to poke the end of the wire through the twine once to hold the bundle in place. Do not cut the wire! Use the same piece of wire for the whole garland for extra strength.
- Place the next bundle along the twine about 3/4 of the way down the first bundle. Wire the second bundle to the twine and one piece from the first bundle. (This helps hide the twine once you hang up the garland.)
- Continue wiring bundles to the twine until it is covered.
- Hang up and enjoy!
Pro Tip: Hide Your Cuts
Keep in mind that fall isn't the ideal time to fully prune anything, so you're going to want to take a few cuttings from a variety of different shrubs.
Here's the easiest way to hide your pruning cuts: Cut pieces for your garland from the underside of the branch. Works like a charm! If that isn't possible, try to remove a piece of branch that has another piece drooping over it, so the cut will be hidden.
Fall Cleanup Part 2: Leave a Little for Wildlife
Still working on fall cleanup? Make sure not to completely mow down everything in your garden. While that's tempting, it doesn't leave much for visiting wildlife to snack on. Here are our tips for easing up on cleanup so you can enjoy visits from your feathered (and furry) friends.
- Allow ornamental grasses to stand until snow or ice knocks them down. Their flowers are a good food source for birds and small mammals.
- Let perennials dry and stand as well. Goldfinches love coneflower seeds and you'll love seeing their bright plumage in your garden. The insides of these plants also provide winter habitat for native bees and insects.
- Leave some (but not all) leaves. It's not a good idea to allow dense mats of leaves to form on your lawn or in your flower beds. (Chop them up with your mower or leaf shredder and use them as mulch.) You can move a few piles of leaves to the edge of your property, though, to provide homes for overwintering native insects and butterflies.
Tell us your winter gardening tips
With so many regions and climates, there are many different activities to enjoy in the garden during the winter. Whether you're planting cool season crops, protecting your roses from the winter freeze or draining your irrigation system, we want to hear what tips work for you. Please share a comment, include your garden zone and tell us what works best for you during the winter garden season.