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Country Sampler Holiday Homes December 2018 - - Holiday Basics - PHO­TO­GRAPH COUR­TESY OF BAL­LARD DE­SIGNS, BALLARDDESIGNS.COM/HOWTODECORATE.

One of the ben­e­fits of dec­o­rat­ing with green­ery is that there is such a va­ri­ety of ev­er­greens, and the branches can be used in a mul­ti­tude of ways. On the How to Dec­o­rate sec­tion of its web­site, Bal­lard De­signs of­fers some tips from its gar­den­ing and green­ery ex­pert: Pur­chase your branches as close to the time you will be us­ing them as pos­si­ble. Cut or crush the stems and place them in water overnight. Mist them pe­ri­od­i­cally through­out the sea­son. Pine, fir and cedar branches last the long­est.

FREE FIR Most re­tail­ers that sell fresh Christ­mas trees will have a box of cut branches free for the tak­ing or at min­i­mal cost.

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