8 Types of Fresh Christmas Greenery for Holiday Decorating

The right seasonal foliage sets the tone for your celebrations. These simple ideas can be done in less time than it takes to hang the stockings on the chimney with care.

Deck the halls this Christmas with fresh greenery. These eight types of boughs are readily available at local garden centers and are even easier to arrange around your home. And why not bring the outdoors in with fresh, festive greenery to keep our spirits bright while the landscape starts to go dormant and the days start to get cooler and darker? Each type of foliage has unique qualities, from highly fragrant to the ability to last for years if stored correctly. From wreaths and centerpieces to garlands and swags, steal these simple and sparkly ideas for dressing up your home for the holidays.



Silver dollar eucalyptus is a fragrant choice that looks more modern than fir or cedar.

Best for: Eucalyptus is best for flower arrangements because it has a long life when kept in a vase of water.

Decoration idea: Here, we hung a eucalyptus garland taut across the fireplace with florist wire and hooks to prevent any drooping (conceal the hooks with pretty greenery), and we spruced up cream stockings with sprigs of seeded eucalyptus. It works well in wreaths too.

Cedar 1_2614301_AllAb_1978


The natural oils and striking edges help give cedar branches staying power.

Best for: Just about anything, anywhere you decide to put it. Cedar's dramatic draping effect is stunning, and it smells lovely.

Decoration idea: In this vignette, the asymmetrical placement of the cedar garland adds unique drama around a large mirror, which provides even more visual impact with its reflection. Punctuating this look are sprigs of cedar placed in hurricane vases with ornaments and candles.

Boxwood garland
Photography: Laurey W. Glenn; Styling: Matthew Gleason


Forest green leaves and a compact form make it a favorite. Boxwood can easily last throughout the season.

Best for: Framing staircases, entries, and more. It always brings elegance to a room.

Decoration idea: Here boxwood's compact form balances well with other decorations surrounding a mantle piece while the staircase garland showcases a clean, classic look without looking overdone or fussy.

Juniper garland
Photography: Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Page Mullins


Get fragrance, beautiful blue berries, and hardy greenery all in one.

Best for: Both inside and out. Wear gloves when you work with it because it can have prickly foliage, but the scent is totally worth it.

Decoration idea: This staircase juniper garland, draped beautifully, gets studded with baubles and ribbons in similar tones. Scan your home for opportunities to add little touches of juniper to other decorative pieces, such as vases, trays, figurines, and objets d'art.

Olive branch garland
Photography: Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Page Mullins

Olive Branch

Try it for the pretty curled look that its leaves develop as it dries. (Keep in mind that it will dry out more quickly than other evergreens.)

Best for: Indoors and outside. The curling foliage will create a loose, interesting effect.

Decoration idea: The olive branches shown here pop against this creamy, stuccoed fireplace giving a modern, Mediterranean feel.

Noble Fir greenery
Photography: Laurey W. Glenn; Styling: Matthew Gleason

Noble Fir

The boughs of this evergreen deliver beautiful detail anywhere you use them.

Best for: Table arrangements, mailbox decor, and swags for sconces and front doors. It's gorgeous and versatile.

Decoration idea: In this exterior example, a noble fir wreath welcomes guests on this home's front gate, and more wreaths are simply hung with red ribbon over each window, always a totally classic, holiday look.

Pine garland
Photography: Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Page Mullins


Pine's long needles give a lush and full look and have a refreshing, clean scent.

Best for: Table arrangements, framing staircases and entries, or used in wreaths.

Decoration idea: Lay a wispy length of pine as a green runner on your tabletop, and nestle vibrant vintage ornaments in its branches. Guests can see each other and talk easily over this garland centerpiece.

Magnolia garland
Photography: Laurey W. Glenn; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller


Magnolia's alternating brown and green leaves bring an earthy, natural palette to holiday decorating. If stored in a cool, dry place, magnolia garland can last up to four years.

Best for: Just about anything. Frame mantles, staircases, and entries; make a wreath; or use in table arrangements.

Decoration idea: Magnolia also lends an iconic Southern touch to holiday decor. In this decor idea, a large, dramatic magnolia garland contrasts beautifully with a mix of evergreens that frame this fireplace.

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