“Spruce” up your Winter Decorating!

I can’t believe the first week of December is already over! Unfortunately, it’s going to go much faster than I would like it to go. My work schedule is crushing me this month, so I thought I better prioritize my responsibilties a little better. I have to go out-of-town this coming week for work, so this meant I must try to get my Christmas shopping and decorations up as soon as I could, or it wasn’t going to happen at all! I am happy to say that I feel good about both tasks, so now, all I have to do is concentrate on my up coming schedule. I should be in the clear by week’s end (hopefully).

As I was running into Walmart to pick up some Christmas presents I ordered online this past Tuesday, I was very surprised, and actually a bit relieved in regards to what I had found. It was two bundles of evergreens, and it truly had made my day.

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By the way, yes, it was Walmart I found these in. Normally, I would go to my farm store, but with time and schedule restraints, the supercenter that is less than five minutes from my house trumped all other options this week. I was pleasantly surprised to see they were even selling them. Thanksgiving weekend had me frantically hiking through the woods around my neighborhood to find some spruce branches, but unfortunately, there were very little for me to get.

Spruce, Fir and Pine trees are all conifers. Conifers are trees or shrubs, mostly evergreen, that have needle-like or scale-like leaves. Conifers are the quintessential Winter decoration. I love them. I decorate with them up right up until Spring. I love the look of Spruce/Pine branches with pinecones.

So, how do you tell the difference between them?

Pines— have long smooth needles that come in bundles of 2,3 or 5

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Spruce– single needles are smooth and roll around in your hand

Fir– have single needles that are flat so you can’t roll them

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I learned a lot about trees, especially Pine, from my father, who could tell you every different kind of tree. As a boy, he planted over 3,000+ trees for a 4-H project. Those are the woods I grew up playing in.

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So now, I can finish decorating my urns out front of my house.

I got some huge ornaments that are supposed to go in a tree in your front yard, but instead I used them for my urns.

My hands were freezing! It was 29 degrees!
My hands were freezing! It was 29 degrees!

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I inserted the hook part into the dirt in my urns to secure them from the wind. As you can see, I still had some spike plants from summer in there. I actually had to get my trowel out to get them out! The root systems were enormous!

My spike plants that I will talk more about in future posts.
My spike plants that I will talk more about in future posts.

I took my evergreen “bouquets” and inserted them in the urn for a “quick and dirty” holiday decoration.

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I want to emphasize that creative decorating does NOT have to be expensive. Really cool decorations can be created with different items just hanging around your house! And nature, of course! I purchased these evergreen bundles for $4.87 a piece. So, I did not spend much at all.

Yes, I will be foraging for more spruce twigs as winter goes on, like I did last year while snowshoeing.

My snowshoe excursion in search of spruce and fir branches.
My snowshoe excursion in search of spruce and fir branches.

You can also decorate with them inside.

  • When decorating with spruce, pine or fir in your home, please make sure you WATER them often, or the needles will fall all over. They create quite a mess. Lesson learned from last winter!

I hope you get a chance to decorate with conifers this holiday/winter season. Just taking a walk on a snowy path through the woods to find them can be wonderful. Who doesn’t love the smell of spruce or pine in the winter? It’s very inviting and homey-feeling. Consider planting a smaller or dwarf version in your yard if you do not have a big backyard. They are an excellent example of winter interest as well!

So, quit “pining” for summer when winter has its perks as well!

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