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A French-Inspired Garden and Home by Judith Stringham

Winter Greenery After Christmas

Wednesday, January 18, 2017


When the landscape is bare, and plants are dormant for the winter, a little indoor greenery gives color to our homes and gives life to our spirits. Winter greenery after Christmas adds a little joy to everyday living. 


Moving a live cut Christmas tree from inside the house to outside on the porch prolongs the life of the tree. Continue to water the tree, and the tree will last late into January before the branches are too brittle to keep the tree. Natural outdoor humidity and cool temperatures help keep the tree moisturized.  

Visible through the sunspace window, the bare branches of the now undecorated table Christmas tree can still be enjoyed from the breakfast sunspace area. 


Inside, a live myrtle topiary and a preserved boxwood wreath coordinate with the outdoor fir tree. One way to add dimension to groupings is to layer the elements of the group. Here the topiary is in front of the boxwood wreath which is in front of the outdoor fir tree. 


A no-cost way to add greenery to inside is to use cut greens from shrubs and trees in your yard. As I was arranging the items on the top shelf of the white bookshelf that I use as a potting bench of sorts, I thought the items needed another touch of greenery below the topiary.  

A small ivy potted plant would have been a good choice, but I do not have any small ivy plants right now. Just a handful of fresh stems cut from the outdoor evergreen trees that flank the garden house doors was all that was needed. 

Large evergreen arrangements can be created from long branches cut from hollies, boxwoods, or firs. Just fill a large vase, crock, or pitcher with greens for an impressive display. 

4 Tips to Keep Winter Greenery Fresh

These tips are from my sister who is a professional florist. 
  1. Wash cut greenery in light sudsy water, and then rinse, to remove dirt and any insects. 
  2. Strip foliage from the bottom of the stems so that no leaves are below water in the container. I need to strip the bottom leaves from the greenery in the small vase. 
  3. Add bleach to the water to keep the water fresh. Ratio: 1 tablespoon bleach to 1 quart water  
  4. Change the water periodically. Be careful not to splash the water containing bleach onto your clothes. 


A thermometer attached to the porch outside the window is easy to read from inside and helps to monitor when tender plants on the table outside should be brought inside. 


From this angle, the thermometer is easy to see, but cannot be seen from just a few steps closer to the table. While I like having useful tools like thermometers, I also do not want items to clutter a space and detract from the overall look of an area. Right now I am decluttering the bottom shelves of the white bookcase so that the lower shelves' contents add to the winter greenery on the top shelf. 

Winter greenery after Christmas provides a cheerful atmosphere to our homes that improves our emotional health. While greenery beautifies our spaces, research shows indoor plants also provide measurable benefits to our lives. 

Adding winter greenery adds joie de vivre

French Country is more than French-style design.

French Country is a lifestyle where everyday objects, routines, and choices add pleasure to life.