What is in your yard right now?

Becky Garber
Landscape Logic
During this time of year, we often purchase holiday decor made of plastic and other harmful materials, but your yard is actually chalk full of natural materials that can be used.
Special to the Daily

The holidays are upon us and ’tis the season for decorating around our homes and businesses. Craft stores abound with real and artificial pine cones, branches, dried flowers and more.

Before purchasing these items, scavenge your yard to see what you might find to repurpose on your holiday table, mantel or front porch. Pine cones, spruce cones, small branches, dried seed pods and even the last round of fallen leaves can all be put to good use.

Creative Repurposing

Rather than ignoring or discarding these items in the trash, give them a fresh life as holiday decor. Here are some ideas for creative repurposing:

Bundle small bunches of elongated spruce cones or twigs with twine. They make excellent fire starters for wood-burning stoves, fireplaces and fire pits. Little bundles are an easy craft kids can make as gifts for family and friends who use wood for fires.

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Dust off the front-porch container that held geraniums last summer. Place evergreen trimmings such as juniper branches, anchored in the soil, in a ring around the edge of the container. Fill the middle with a mound of pinecones and add height by standing small branches in the center. Branches can be left natural or spray-painted gold or silver to add holiday glitz. Tuck in red berries or ornaments for a pop of color.

Use small branches, echinacea pods or dried yarrow stems for texture in indoor arrangements. They can be left natural or spray painted to create contrast.

Rose hips are prickly to harvest, but will hold their color well beyond one season. Use them in wreaths and arrangements.

Recreate the look of berries on snow indoors. Place a dense cluster of baby’s breath in a vase filled with water and add stems of fresh red berries among the baby’s breath. In a clear vase, berries left on submerged stems are pretty, too.

Before you decorate, check out what Mother Nature has left in your yard. What was yesterday’s pruning debris can quickly be transformed into today’s seasonal decor.

Becky Garber is director of the Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado, of which Neils Lunceford is a member. Neils Lunceford Inc. can be reached at 970-468-0340 and at

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