Rules are made to be broken, right? So “floral” arrangements don’t have to be just flowers, and holiday greenery doesn’t always have to be hung up or spread out on a mantel. In fact, a holiday arrangement of greenery in a vase is not only wonderfully striking, it’s easy, fast, elegant and inexpensive! While it looks best with at least two or three different types of greenery, it’s also gorgeous with just one type of evergreen.

Vase with greens

Different types of greenery, as well as a few accents, give your holiday arrangement lots of interest.

Photo Credit: Veronica Lorson Fowler

Greens with crabapples

Berries or crabapples make for a bright splash of color, but they’ll last longer if kept in a cool spot.

Photo Credit: Veronica Lorson Fowler

Silver accents

Silver accents add a touch of glamour for just a few dollars.

Photo Credit: Veronica Lorson Fowler

I love displaying a huge vase of greens on my back porch’s table each holiday season. (Otherwise during the winter months, it looks awfully bare back there.) That bit of life and color greets me whenever I return home, and the colorful surprise warmly welcomes our “back door” friends who are comfortable enough coming in through the back of the house. And the bonus for this arrangement: The screened porch’s cold weather and moist air keep the display looking fresh until spring!

If you have the luxury of choosing from a variety of greenery in your garden, go for contrasts of shiny (such as holly or rhododendrons) with flat (like spruce or pine). Mix in dark greens (like yew) with light (such as golden arborvitae). Variegated evergreens are especially attractive in this arrangement, too.

A simple vase of just evergreens is nice enough, but the greenery really pops if you add some accents that contrast in shape and color. So look around your garden for some leftover rose hips, branches with nice lines, crabapples, berries and dried seed heads (think purple coneflowers, hydrangeas and sedums). Even ornamental grasses are excellent for mixing in.

If you want to give your accents a little holiday flash, get out a can of gold, white or silver spray paint and give them a coat of bling. (Or check out your local craft store for a wide selection of sparkly materials to add to your arrangement.)

When creating your greens-filled vase, be sure to strip the leaves from the stems that will be underwater so they don’t decompose and start to go foul. Arrange the greenery to your liking and fill the vase with water. Be sure to check the level every day or so, and change the water completely every couple of days to keep your display looking good. This arrangement will last for several weeks indoors if you take care of it and keep it cool – and it can last months if it’s kept in a freezing environment (where you won’t have to worry about water so much).

A vase of evergreens is such a nice, inexpensive touch for the holidays. It’s a snap to do, and you’ll find yourself creating one again and again each year, varying the accents and the greenery – but always standing back and appreciating what a little bit of homegrown greenery can do for a room to brighten it during the holiday season.