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Holiday Foliage Tips and Techniques for Your Favorite Holiday Designs

The time has come, let’s talk holiday foliage. Holiday foliages are easily incorporated to upgrade any traditional arrangements. This is especially useful due to the growing need for more unique and personalized designs that can’t be found at big box stores.   

Traditional styles and colors are always going to be popular.  However, today's generation are on the search for a more modern touch to these traditional elements. They're looking for designs that incorporate vintage pieces yet still have a modern look. 

Here’s some tips on how to execute the look. 


Holiday foliage, otherwise known as winter greens, can be used from November to January. You can even use winter greens in your Valentine’s Day designs. Calling it winter foliage limits their use to only the holidays in December. 

Ferns are among the most popular winter foliage. It’s has a beautiful spread and takes up a lot of space, holding up well in your designs. What we recommend when using fern is to pull off the pine pieces from the bottom of the stem and cut it at an angle. This allows for easy insertion into the floral foam and allows you to prep for your design well in advance. 

The juniper is another popular winter green for the season. The beautiful blueberries on the juniper will be especially relevant because "Classic Blue" ... is the Pantone color for 2020.  It easily incorporates the blue color into your designs. They are easily slipped into those smaller winter designs. 

Cedar is beautiful for the way it drapes. Plus, its look adds depth. It has a darker green color on its back and a contrasting vibrant green on its front. 

Holly is a popular green. Specifically, popular is its variegated and solid green forms. It is a great addition to a winter flower design. They hold up for a very long time without water, allowing you to clip them shorter when needed. Its red berries and extra pieces help fill empty areas and add texture to a design. 

You don’t always have to use your winter greens. You can incorporate everyday foliage like variegated pittosporum, baker fern or leatherleaf, to fill up designs. Bringing in the natural products in your area, like Nandina berries, to help add more detail. 


Red containers with a plaid ribbon are always going to add a Christmas look to your designs. Think about adding ornaments for a little sparkle. Plus, they become a keepsake after the flowers have expired. The accents that you add will differentiate your designs from competitors. 

The Gnome on the roam is extremely popular this year. Adding gnomes into your designs, with ornaments, will take your designs to the next level. Think about using a bigger gnome, and instead of using budding flowers, try a small frosted plant as a Christmas gnome hat. Adding simple woodsy touches, like acorns and pinecones, can spruce up designs. Even freeze-dried roses, that will hold up the entire holiday season, are wonderful rustic options. 

The little red truck is everywhere. Instead of incorporating a traditional Christmas tree, use flowers instead. Design in a cone shape with winter greens and burlap to create an antique look with winter greens and burlap can create an antique look. Add in other whimsical features like Christmas animals or ornaments, to add design appeal to any generation. 

Look for items that are timeless that will always be available. Don't just look for what is trending. Always check to see what is popular in your area, but never forget that tradition remains popular and readily available. It is a steady option. 

For a hands-on demonstration on winter greens in holiday designs, join Floriology Institute’s Jackie Lacey AAF, AIFD®, CFD®, PFCI, for this week's #DesignTime