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Garden Tip: Invite nature in for the holidays

Invite a touch of nature indoors this winter. Give your entrance, porch or deck a special look with evergreen boughs, roping, wreaths, swags or containers embellished with accents found in nature.

Take a tour of your yard and see what your garden may provide. Look for greens, pods, twigs, cones, dried flowers, seeds or branches that will add a rustic look to your holidays.

Hydrangeas, red twig dogwood, birch twigs, winterberry holly and grasses can add that naturalistic touch to your porch or tabletop. Crabapple berries, pine cones, milkweed pods and rose hips can add color and texture. Layer different types of greens like boxwood, Port Orford cedar, white pine or arborvitae for a rich look.

For decorating indoors, you need to take safety into consideration. Fresh-cut greens on mantles can be a fire hazard. Some greens will last longer than others indoors. Boxwood, oregonia, silver fir and fraser fir hold up best. A regular spritz of water will help keep them greener.

Fresh green arrangements in floral foam should also be kept moist. Check them regularly as our home heating systems can dry out arrangements quickly.

Garden Tip is courtesy of Heather Prince, The Growing Place, 630-355-4000, www.thegrowingplace.com

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