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If you’ve ever used fresh greens from the out of doors for your holiday decorating, you know they tend to dry out and lose their beauty rather quickly. Here are five useful tips for keeping the greens fresh and beautiful all through the holidays.

1) Condition your fresh greenery by cutting and crushing the stems of each piece and then soaking in a bucket of water for several hours after bringing them indoors. This will maximize their freshness.

2) Keep them moist by spraying with an anti-dessicant after soaking them. You can find this product at local nurseries. It seals the pores of leaves and stems and helps to retain moisture.

3) Place greens out of direct sunlight and away from heat sources to prevent fire hazards.

4) If using in a floral arrangement, recut stems at a 45 degree angle so more water will be absorbed.

5) Use aromatic greens such as pine, cedar, eucalyptus, balsam and juniper to maximize the fragrance. Mist daily to retain freshness.

Nothing enhances the beauty of the holiday season like brilliant, aromatic greens, and if you’re fortunate, you’ll be able to find them free in your own neighborhood. Select a variety for color and shape. Your home will be beautiful and inviting for all those Christmas celebrations.

Nineteen varieties of greens