14 Plant Ideas for a Fresh Garland

holiday greenery and garland

by Jennifer Poindexter

Are you interested in creating fresh garland?

Don’t make the mistake of assuming garland is only for decoration during the holiday season. In fact, it’s popular for people to create garland to decorate throughout most of the year.

Whether you need fresh garland for the holidays or you just want to add a little spice and color to your home any time, you’re in the right place.

I’m going to walk you through some of the best plant options for making fresh, DIY garland. Here are your possibilities:

spruce garland

1. Spruce Limbs

When making fresh garland, one of the first types of plants we turn to is greenery. A great option for this is cutting limbs from a spruce tree.

Spruce trees are fairly common in planting zones two through seven. Whether you already have one growing or you’d like to plant a new tree in your yard, if you live in these planting zones, the spruce tree could be a great option for landscape aesthetics and DIY home décor.

pine garland

2. Pine Tree Limbs

My home is surrounded by pine trees. They’re wonderful for providing privacy and blocking strong winds. These trees typically grow one to two feet each year and can reach as tall as 80 feet.

If you’d like to make fresh greenery for Christmas, consider removing a few limbs from an established pine tree and tie them together using twine or zip ties. Decorate your greenery with ornaments or ribbon for a festive and frugal look.

thuja garland

3. Thuja Limbs

I also have a few thuja trees around my home. They’re fast growing trees that are excellent for blocking wind, noise, and providing privacy.

These trees grow in planting zones three and higher and can grow to be as tall as 60 feet. If you’d like thicker greenery, a thuja tree could provide this for your craft.

fir garland

4. Fir Tree Limbs

Many artificial greeneries are meant to resemble fir trees due to the stubby, thick needles. Plus, they typically come with cones in them for added charm.

You can create this look yourself by removing limbs from your own fir tree and incorporating the tree’s cones into the garland as well. Fir trees are typically grown in planting zones three through eight, so if you live in these areas you might be able to easily find what you need to create your own fresh garland.

boxwood garland

5. Boxwood

Boxwood “trees” are actually shrubs that many people use around their homes for clean and attractive landscaping. If you have these bushes growing around your home, prune them and use the leftovers for homemade garland.

This is a common plant in zones five through eight. They’re also easier to glean from because they only grow to be approximately 20 feet tall. If you’d like thick foliage for your living garland, use this common plant.

dried conflower garland

6. Coneflowers

Do you think all garland is greenery strung together? If so, you’re in for a surprise. Many times, people string together gorgeous flowers to make a floral garland or add flowers to accent greenery. This type of garland is great for decorating outdoor garden parties or for hanging across a mantle during warmer seasons. 

Coneflowers can be used as an accent when fresh, or you can use your older flowers in garland. Remove the old petals, dry the center portion of the coneflower, and use it to accent your creation.

oregano garland

7. Oregano

When creating a garland, many people like to use a solid green foundation for the background. You can do this by incorporating a variety of the options on this list. To change up the color and texture of the greenery, add oregano to the mix.

Oregano is easy to grow in an herb garden, it produces abundantly, and will give your garland a fresh scent and different look. It’s also a wonderful addition to a floral garland for a touch of deeper color.

sage garland

8. Sage

When you see fresh, green garland many times it’s at a wedding. You’ll typically see sage used as an accent to lamb’s ear or eucalyptus leaves.

However you choose to incorporate this herb, it’s a wonderful addition when creating a modern, light, and fresh garland. It’s also a perennial plant, so you can use it year after year for more home decor creations.

marigold garland

9. Marigold

A garland made of marigold is a unique piece that is hard to forget. You can grow an abundance of marigolds and harvest the heads when they’re at their peak.

Once this occurs, use a needle to string the marigold heads. The garland will remain fresh for a few days, but it’s also a wonderful décor once it’s dried. If you’d like to add a splash of color to your home, don’t overlook this type of fresh garland.

leaf garland

10. Autumn Leaves

I live in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. People come from everywhere to see our beautiful fall colors. Why not capture the colors of fall by making a beautiful garland from freshly fallen leaves?

It’s inexpensive and easy to create. Clean the leaves, cover them in Mod Podge, and glue them to a rope of choice. Who knew home décor could be so easy, budget-friendly, and beautiful?

rosemary garland

11. Rosemary

Rosemary is one of my favorite herbs in our garden. It’s beautiful and produces a large harvest. In fact, I frequently have more rosemary than I can possibly use. What should you do with the excess of your rosemary harvest? Use it to decorate your home, of course!

Creating a rosemary garland is extremely simple. Cut long pieces from your rosemary plant, without cutting it all the way to the soil. You want the plant to regrow. Tie the pieces together using green wire or pipe cleaners. Add a few accent pieces to hide any areas where the wire may be showing. Try not to make your garland longer than a half foot as it can be hard to handle beyond this point.

black eyed susan flower garland

12. Black Eyed Susan

Black Eyed Susan is a great flower to incorporate in any floral garland. You can use them fresh or dry them as part of a dried garland.

The idea is still the same. You’ll choose a rope or wire of your choice and glue the flowers to it. You could also add fresh herbs to add a difference in texture to your garland. This could be a wonderful way to decorate your mantle during fall.

eucalyptus garland

13. Eucalyptus

It seems everyone wants a country wedding these days. If you’re looking for a farmhouse look at your event, don’t overlook fresh eucalyptus garland.

This type of garland is simple, easy to make, and looks great when paired with white due to its subtle splash of color. To make this garland, you need wire to secure a group of six branches at a time. Repeat this process, in layers, until you have the look you like. If watered, the garland can last for weeks.

magnolia garland

14. Magnolia

Our final plant that’s great for fresh garland is the magnolia leaf. Growing a magnolia tree isn’t for everyone as it typically grows in warmer planting zones and some varieties can grow to be as tall as 70 feet.

However, if you have a magnolia tree growing around your property (or you have room to plant one) don’t overlook the leaves. You can harvest some of the branches and tie them together using wire. Don’t forget unique accent pieces to cover any awkward spaces where wire is showing. You can use Mod Podge to keep your leaves fresh for more enjoyment.

This concludes our list of plants you might grow and use to make fresh garland. Whether you’re trying to save money on Christmas decorations, wedding decorations, or you prefer the look of fresh flowers to artificial, this list should inspire quite a few crafting projects.

If you’re both a gardener and someone who loves to create things, adding these items to your garden with the intention of making fresh garland could be a great investment of your time. Pick the flowers and trees you like best, ensure they work for your growing conditions and planting zone, and start creating beautiful home décor straight from your garden.

Learn More About Fresh Garland


Eucalyptus and marigolds with text overlay fourteen plant ideas for a fresh garland

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