For this decorative display, Parks decided to steer clear of holiday red. “I wanted something that could still pass as festive,” she said, “but would have a little bit of longevity.” She started with sturdy birch poles, chosen because they’re easy to work with and provide a stunning contrast to evergreens. She also used curly willow branches for height, and “one beefy” spruce top. While they are sometimes overused, Parks relies on these hardworking, conical branches to give shape to a design. “They’re good as a base, but there are so many other types of greens to use,” including “flowy” Norway pine and “drapey” cedar, which she tucked in around the base of this pot to give it a soft, finished look. For colour, she added fresh toyanberry, bluebell eucalyptus and magnolia leaves.