The holiday season without the traditional greenery can be a bit drab and artificial. Many landscapes may have a number of different greens that you may use and achieve a more natural Christmas. Pines, particularly the short leaf or Virginia pine, can be most pleasing.

These pines have twisting branches with needles two inches or so in length.

Magnolia trees can supply you with some very beautiful foliage.

Cones or seedpods can add interest. Most every landscape has one or more types of holly.

Burford, Chinese, American, and Foster’s holly can give you a choice of interesting leaf sizes and shapes.

Most hollies have glistering foliage that can be refreshing and interesting. Many junipers are good for Christmas decorating.

Christmas greens will last longer if you precondition them before you use them in wreaths, garlands, or arrangements. Pre-conditioning means cutting the stems with a slanting cut. Place the stems in water and allow them to absorb water for several days before using them.

Use clean buckets or containers filled with fresh water.

Place the buckets outside or in a cool basement or storage room for two to three days.

This will allow plant stems and leaves to absorb water to increase the time that they will remain attractive and fresh.