Tis the season for holiday decorating and while trees, poinsettias and wreaths dominate many garden centers don't forget creating a beautiful, holiday swag. Holiday swags are versatile. They can be hung from doorways and walls indoors and outside or used as centerpieces on your table. You can make them big and gaudy or small and simple. 

I like a small, simple, natural swag. I wander in the woods around our home and collect pine, fir, and cedar branches as well as holly berries, dried  flowers and pine cones for decorating. All of these items, and more, are available at your local garden center. Choose berries, cones, dried perennial flowers and evergreens that are native to your area to give your swag a local feel. 
Create Your Own Holiday Bough

Here's how to assemble.

1. Choose an assortment of evergreen boughs and tie them together with floral wire. Another alternative is to use colorful VELCRO® Brand Garden Ties and VELCRO® Brand ONE-WRAP® Ties. These ties add a bit of splash to the bough while holding it firmly together. 

2. Add pine cones, berry sprigs, dried flowers and other natural bling to the boughs attached with garden ties or wire. 

3. Once finished, place the swag in a cool room so it will last for a few weeks over the holidays or outdoors. 

4. After the holidays don't just recycle the swag. Use the berries and flowers in dried floral arrangements and place the evergreens around freeze sensitive perennials, such as lavender, to protect them in winter.

Here are some of common types of evergreens you can choose for a holiday swag. Have a happy holiday this year!

Pine- The soft, long needles are elegant and the stems flop adding a curve to your swag

Spruce- The needles are stiff and prickly, but last a long time

Cedar- Adds a softer feel with the larger sized, evergreen leaves

Fir- Has stiff needles and a fragrance.

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