Home & Garden

Learn how to decorate your home for the holiday season

Author: Canadian Living

Home & Garden

Learn how to decorate your home for the holiday season

What's the best way to get into the spirit of the season? Decking the halls! There's nothing like the look and scent of fresh greenery to make a home festive and inviting. It's easy, and it doesn't have to be stressful or costly, either. Here are a few simple ways to decorate your home for the holidays.

Shop your yard: Your own backyard is probably teeming with greenery. When harvesting greens such as white pine, spruce and fir, be selective when removing stems to maintain the overall look and health of the plant.

Save the trimmings: If you buy a fresh tree, don't toss out any branches that you cut from the bottom. Instead, tie them together with a bow to create a swag – for free!

Make a quick-fix centrepiece:
Step 1: Place a fresh wreath in the centre of the table.

Step 2: Pop your favourite serving bowl (I use my silver salad bowl) in the hole.

Step 3: Fill the bowl to overflowing with plump red apples or pomegranates. "So natural, so beautiful," your guests will say.

Use the perfect holiday accessory: Pinecones can be found all over the country and collected any time of the year. I love adding them to indoor arrangements, wreaths and outdoor seasonal urns. They are naturally beautiful, but can also be whitewashed or spray painted to make them a little more exciting. Tip: Floral wire is your friend when attaching pinecones. Fold a length of wire in half, then slip the loop around the cone, twisting ends to secure.

Don't forget greenery for the outdoors: Pop boughs into planters and window boxes to add simple festive eye candy to your front entrance. Mix up different types of greenery, and accessorize with colourful splashes of cranberries, holly berries or rose hips.

Tired of mistletoe? Try a kissing ball instead: Creating one is as simple as poking short sprigs of evergreens all over a potato to make a global form. Screw in a hook, then hang with wire. It's your easiest way to affection this holiday season and, to me, it's just not a holiday without kisses or hugs from the ones you love!

Page 1 of 2 -- Find Frankie's gardening wish list for the holidays on page 2
Frankie's fab 5 holiday wish list guide
1. Brandywine Organic Tomato Seeds: This heirloom variety is known for its size and sweet flavour. It's a perfect stocking stuffer. www.veseys.com

2. Felco Classic Manual Hand Pruner #F-2: Either I lost my last pair or someone forgot to return them. This classic pruner has been around for 40 years, mainly because of its precision-made Swiss blade. www.amazon.com

3. Light meter: Sun, part-sun or shade? This handy tool helps measure the number of light candles inside and outside your home. www.leevalley.com

4. Turf Slitter: It's a cool tool that helps you remove sections of sod so well that the sod can be used elsewhere in the garden. www.rittenhouse.ca

5. Manual of Woody Landscape Plants: Their Identification, Ornamental Characteristics, Culture, Propagation and Uses (Stipes, $66.67) by Michael A. Dirr: Yay! The paperback is now in my price range. www.amazon.ca

This story was originally titled "Fresh & Festive Decorating" in the December 2009 issue.

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Home & Garden

Learn how to decorate your home for the holiday season