Before you run out to buy greenery grown a state or two away and trucked to your hometown or plastic decorations made in a foreign country, take a second look at your yard.
Every year I decorate my house with greenery from my yard in Los Angeles. Many plants in California are at their best as we head into winter. I put together this table decoration with:
- a candle
- a flower pot
- two rosemary boughs
- two fern stalks
- four stems of holly cherry (California native)
- two stems of cotoneaster (with red berries)
All of these plants will stay green without water as they dry. Many will look great for two to three weeks.
Other obvious choices are pine, cedar and holly, as well as eucalyptus, pyrocanthus or firethorn (red berries), succulents, and a variety of herbs. California natives like ceanothus and manzanita have beautiful deep green foliage and toyon or California holly has green leaves with holly-like red berries. The later is the plant that gave Hollywood its name. More on toyon.
The idea of holiday wreaths and trees is to bring the living things of the forest into your home in the dead of winter. The best way to do that while preserving wild forests and lands is to sustainably harvest greenery from your own yard. Go foraging, you may be surprised at the botanical wonders you find.