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Garden Accents for the Holidays

(ARA) – As autumn fades and winter draws near, homes begin to reflect the approaching holiday season. For many of us, the cooler weather also signifies a lifestyle change.

In the south, cooler temperatures make this a great time of year for gardening and outdoor entertaining. For northerners, winter brings snow sports and indoor activities. Regardless of your region, you can decorate for the approaching holidays by bringing the beauty of the outdoors in. Use natural elements from the yard and garden to create a festive decor to not only recycle nature’s bounty, but also perk up your home for winter entertaining.

In the north, annuals and perennials are done for the year. But, there are still plenty of other ways to add color and interest to an outdoor space. After removing all the remains of the summer flowers, take a long look at the remaining landscape and add focal points.

Is the front door the main area of interest? Feature a lovely evergreen with a light dusting of snow. Solar landscaping lights in containers work great next to the front door with a spot light angled to accent that beautiful tree. Want the apartment balcony to express a festive spirit? Set the mood and accent the desired focal points by incorporating other creative lighting. Try a string of festive lights across the balcony and evergreens in decorative pots.

Live evergreens of every size and shape are abundantly available in most areas at this time of year. You  can easily plant them in yards in warmer regions, or pop them into a container to be placed on the front steps or along the walkway to welcome guests.

Many types of these evergreens are available in most home improvement stores nationwide. Add your own lights for a personal touch. Create your own topiary form by using chicken wire to structure a simple cone shape. Then, simply tuck in some moss or a few branches of greenery. Ask for some discarded branches that have been trimmed from Christmas trees at the local nursery or tree farm. Place your topiary in a large pot and wrap with twinkle lights to welcome guests to the front door. Come spring, transplant these trees in the yard with Miracle-Gro Garden Soil.

Invite guests with fragrances of the season with well-placed potpourri or bits of cut evergreens. Pair the freshly cut boughs of evergreen with holly to accentuate the celebratory atmosphere of the season. Wire them together to make a garland with florist wire or tape. Then, place on the mantle, hang over the banister or use as a centerpiece for a table. Incorporate fruit such as apples, oranges, lemons, limes or pomegranates into garlands or floral arrangements for a fresh, fruity twist.

Use elements from nature that are unexpected for a splash of creativity. Dried flowers can simply be tucked into the boughs of a Christmas tree for an extra pop of festivity. Nuts are for more than just snacking; add them to the decorating mix for a surprise. Drill holes through acorns, walnuts or pecans and string them into a woodsy garland. Do not forget to use potted plants for decorating as well. Small live herbs trimmed in topiary forms can easily add a festive feel and fragrance to your home. Potted plants also make great hostess gifts and provide a beautiful bloom all year long.

This holiday season, do not leave the beauty of the garden outside. Welcome guests indoors with bits of the outdoors as fabulous decor.