Horticulture is celebrated during the holiday season with classic vibrant red poinsettias, crisp evergreen trees, aromatic rosemary topiaries and archetypal boxwood wreaths. The nostalgia of the season would be incomplete without this living décor.

This season’s horticulture trends will reveal some not-so-traditional presentations with do-it-yourself applications.

Think beyond the traditional 8-foot holiday tree that requires lots of ornaments and lights plus water to keep it looking fresh and a large corner in your living space. Instead, opt for a branch, tiny tree or wall art tree.

Branch trees require a glass jar, boughs of your favorite greenery and a table to set it on. Cluster a few favorite décor items to complete the look.

Tiny evergreen trees and shrubs in pots will not only save space in small rooms but are the perfect size for kids. Wrap the base with decorative fabric, burlap or use a basket.

Use a framed corkboard and hang ornaments in the shape of a tree, outline a tree with lights in the corner of a room, use string to suspend gradually longer branches to make the shape of a tree on the wall. Suspend one branch on its side above the fireplace or dining room table. Empty a wall and hang lights and ornaments in different sizes and colors. Use as little or as much greenery, ornaments and moss as you want. Make a tree in a pot out of spray-painted pine cones.

Use your artistic skills to make your own tablecloth out of paper. Draw the name cards, plates, centerpieces, silverware spots, and snowflakes for a unique holiday dinner presentation.

Reindeer moss is still trending in the floral design world for interesting texture and color. Reindeer moss is actually a preserved lichen that is dried, preserved and colored. For the holidays, place dried floral foam in your favorite container. Glue colored reindeer moss, flocked pine cones, ornaments or lotus pods in groupings for a long-lasting and easy-to-make centerpiece.

Don’t forget to decorate your Charlie Brown Christmas tree. Everyone has seen that one sapling, whether it is growing in an alley against a bare fence or tucked away in the backyard. 

Whether you pick up a trend for the holiday or stay with traditional décor, make sure to add a homespun feel by incorporating a little horticulture.

Kelly Allsup is the University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator in Livingston, McLean and Woodford counties.

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