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Natural, Landscaping Inspired Holiday Decor

When it comes to holiday decor, many of us opt for the flashy, vibrant, and decadent. 20ft tall inflatable yard snowmen and 500ft of glittering, rainbow string lights are sure to make an impression—how could Santa miss a runway strip so graciously adorned? But, for others, holiday cheer isn’t worth a $500 electric bill. Personally, I’m a fan of simple, natural-looking decorations that are light on the eyes and on the bank. To me, the best decor is the kind that utilizes and emphasizes what’s already there. So, for this holiday season, I’m thinking about ways to deck out my existing landscape and bring some winter greenery indoors—here are a few suggestions.

Holiday Decorating

Photo by chapman_photography.

Shape Up Your Winter Landscaping Plan

Many of the images we associate with the holiday season—evergreen, holly, fresh cut wood and fluffy patches of pearly snow—are natural landscape features. Still, many homeowners let their landscapes go to waste this time of year. Yellow grass, droopy shrubs, and unkempt piles of rotted leaves don’t exactly say “winter wonderland!” With a little upkeep, an unloved yard can be transformed into a holiday paradise—fresh holly shrubs add color to a winter landscape that sticks around year-long, and the addition of winter ground coverings like cypruss, juniper, or euonymus help make a dormant garden look lively. Rather than let your yard hibernate for three months out of the year, invest in a winter landscaping plan that utilizes evergreen plants, berries, and cold-season flowers. These all natural decorations will stay with you even after the holiday season has passed.

Bring Clipped Greenery Indoors

More on that last point—why go out and buy a fake wreath or garland when evergreen trees abound? Clippings off evergreen plants make easy holiday decor. I like to clip the low hanging branches off my Christmas tree and use them as centerpieces around the house, adorned with sparkling ornaments, string lights, and pine cones. These homemade decorations are cheap, pretty, and they smell exactly like the holidays are supposed to smell—fresh, green, and nostalgic.  Another option: use dead branches from the garden as a wreath base and adorn with berries, greenery, and lights. With a little ingenuity, you can transform garden trash into just about anything.

Emphasize Landscaping Features with Simple Lighting

Landscaping lighting packs a big punch, even when it’s kept simple. I love holiday lights but hate expensive electric bills, so I always opt for the simpler designs. LED string lights look great strung around the bare branches of winter trees and shrubs, and a couple basic spotlights in the garden can illuminate holly bushes and other cold-season garden gems. Plus, white light looks beautiful glimmering on a fresh layer of snow. If all your neighbors are trying to outdo each other with a candyland-esque rainbow light display, maintaining a natural look might be the best way to distinguish yourself after all. At the very least, your wallet will thank you for foregoing that $200 inflatable yard-monster and settling for a slight sparkle instead. After all, it’s quality–not quantity–that makes the holidays so magical.

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