Native Holiday Decorations
In an attempt to channel Martha Stewart inspired holiday cheer, I thought I would give you some tips on some NATIVE seasonal decorations. I keep coming up with uses for native plants, eventually I'll sell you on them!!
The one that is actually starting to pop up in stores near you is Ilex verticillata
or Winterberry holly. This wonderful shrub makes a welcome addition to the winter landscape (in case I have not mentioned it before) but it also can make centerpieces and wreaths to make even Martha jealous. Instead of going to the store to purchase a few winterberry branches, I recommend stopping by your local native plant nursery and picking up a few winterberry plants. This way, you can make as many wreathes and centerpieces as you like, but still enjoy all of the other benefits to having the plant in your landscape: great winter color, asset to pollinators, and food for birds in the winter months.
**Remember that hollies are dioecious, with male and female flowers on separate plants. One male plant can pollinate five to ten female plants (some sources suggest one male for every twenty female plants, others one male for every three to five females), and should be planted in reasonable proximity to the females.