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In The Garden: Fresh Winter Cuts

Bring some naturally marsala-hued foliage into your home this holiday season
By Leslie Halleck |
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The foliage of Nandina 'Obsession' brightens up the indoors. Photos Leslie Halleck

No time to pick up fresh flowers? No problem. You probably have much of what you need right outside your front door. Winter is a great time to embrace foliage;  bringing fresh cuts from evergreen landscape shrubs and perennials indoors is a great way to capture the season. I regularly use pruned stems of shrubs such as nandina, privet, loropetalum, holly and many others in vases around my home to create an earthy and natural feel.

Artemisia is an easy filler or feature in a squat glass vase.
Artemisia is an easy filler or feature in a squat glass vase. Nandina ‘Obsession’ is also showy by itself in tall vases.

If you’re looking for a way to incorporate the new Pantone color of the year, Marsala, into your home this season, then look no further than those nandinas you have around your foundation. Most turn brilliant shades of this color come winter. The ‘Obsession’ nandina I have planted in my landscape continuously offer up fresh stems that can be sniped and displayed in vases.

Artemisia is on of those tough perennials that can quickly get out of bounds. You’ll need to prune it regularly to keep it looking it’s best. Instead of pitching all the clippings into the compost bin, bring a bunch indoors. Artemisia stems will last for an extended period of time in water and will often root. Use it as a dense filler hold up taller cuts of loropetalum or holly trimmings.

Next time you’re entertaining and need a quick centerpiece, or just want to freshen up the house, take a spin around your landscape to see what nature has to offer. There’s no need to get fancy with your yard clippings. Such stems are often showy enough to be displayed all on their own. Or, combine them together for a lush look.

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