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Doug Hackbarth - Broadview Florist & GreenhousesNothing says Christmas more than the fresh, aromatic smells of live evergreens that decorate your doors and windows, the light post and over-hang roofs as well as inside around the fireplace and on the tables. Wreaths made of a balsam, cedar and white pine mix look great to passerbyers and to visitors who surprise you for a visit. This has been a mild season and it is sad if you haven't taken advantage of it by decorating the outside, in comfort, with your lights and fresh white pine roping.

Red (or any color) bows really help to make you décor "pop", especially if your roping goes up in a scalloped method where you can put a bow at each spot where the roping is attached. Your bows do not always need to be gigantic, rather ask your favorite floral designer to suggest a size for each area that you are working on. A bow on a wreath may need 5 to 7 loops or even more if your wreath is a really large one. Bows inside on a table may only need 3 or 4 loops just to add some festive color.

Warmth is your worst enemy...especially for live greenery inside the house. If you purchase your greens now but do not want to decorate inside until maybe 10 to 15 days before Christmas, simply store them outside or in an unheated place such as a storage shed or your garage. If they are out in the elements and it rains or snows on your greens, great! Even if they freeze solid, that's still ok. Just bring the frozen greenery inside a day early to defrost and maybe to dry out and then they will be ready to use.

Boxwood is one green that will not tolerate the cold, even though it is a perennial shrub. If you cut it from the main plant and then allow it to freeze, the foliage will turn brown and look terrible. You can, however, cut it and store it in a cool place (the garage or a refrigerator) and it makes a great compact decoration for a dinner table. A wreath made of boxwood might work hanging on a door as a doorway is usually warmer than the outside air, but be wary of extreme cold nights below 15 degrees.


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