If I could decorate only one area of my home for the holidays, it would be the front door. A door decked out for Christmas speaks to the spirit of the season even more than a Christmas tree; it conveys community, welcome and hope.
Nothing says Christmas like a wreath on the door, accompanied by other decorative greenery.
Picking out your greenery
When selecting greenery the most important thing to look for is freshness. Choose pieces with flexible stems and dark green color. Also, be on guard for needle drop, which is just what it sounds like.
Prepping your greenery
Once you get your greenery home, take some time to rehydrate it with water and lock in moisture with an anti-transpirant. These steps will keep your wreaths and garlands fresh much longer.
First, soak unembellished greenery in water for eight to 12 hours. If you buy decorated greenery, mist it with water from a spray bottle.
Once the greenery is rehydrated, spray it with an anti-transpirant. These seal the pores in stems and leaves, which reduces moisture loss. You can find them in spray form at a garden center. Wait a few hours after treatment before proceeding with the next step. Some garden centers will apply an anti-transpirant for you at the time of purchase. If you’re unsure, ask the staff. If they do spray your greenery, don’t soak it overnight or mist it.
Hang it up
Worried about the prospect of pounding a nail in your door? Home stores offer plenty of other options. There are inexpensive wreath hangers you can purchase. If you buy a metal one, consider adding a little bit of felt on the underside, where it touches the door to avoid scratching. You can also use command hooks or attach the wreath by a ribbon from the door knocker.
Personalize your door
Hang the wreath in the center of the door for a classic holiday presentation. Or go nontraditional with greenery shapes; snowflakes, garlands and candy canes will add personality to your door. Consider using multiples. If you have double doors, add a wreath on each door. If you have a single door, you can always place a wreath on the top part and another slightly below it.
P. Allen Smith, an author, television host and conservationist, is one of America’s most recognized garden experts. His show “Garden Home” airs on AETN-2 Create TV. Check your local listings for “Garden Style”. Smith uses his Arkansas home, Moss Mountain Farm, as an epicenter for promoting the local food movement, organic gardening and preservation of heritage poultry breeds. Tours may be booked at pallensmith.com/tours.