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Holiday Greenery – Holly

Holly is perhaps one of the most popular greenery for the holiday season. It’s highly recognizable shiny green leaves and bright red berries are a perfect fit with the traditional colors of Christmas. There is another variety of Holly that comes with variegated leaves that have a white edging around the glossy green leaves.  The female variety has the berries, the male does not.

Holly has been an important symbol during the winter months, dating back to Roman times. It is also considered a symbol of hope during the holiday season.  It’s leaves are thick and have a leathery texture.  They average  2 inches long and 1 1/4 inches wide.  The edges are sharp, the thick points alternate with an upward and a downward slant.

When working with holly, there are some steps you need to take not only to prepare it, but to make sure that it stays green and attractive as long as your arrangement does.

  • Always soak your holly overnight in a bucket before using it in your arrangements
  • Spray the holly with a fire resistant spray.  This will not only keep it colorful but will also reduce the possibility of fire damage if you are planning to use holly with any arrangement containing candles.
  • Make sure to remove any brittle or dehydrated berries and branches.

Just a reminder, if you have pets or small children, you might want to consider using artificial holly for your arrangements, holly berries are very poisonous.

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