Every year Zach and I take a tractor ride around the property gathering greens for holiday décor. I used to buy them. Then it dawned on me that we are lucky to have a pretty large selection of wild conifers around our property.
We have some pine trees in the front yard, some bristly spruces (blue and green) and a few wild Junipers and some Cedar trees that grow along the wood line.
I’ve had the idea to plant a Christmas Cutting Garden for quite a while. I have a Pinterest Page devoted to all the plants that I’d eventually like to add. A selection of evergreens planted just for the purpose of cutting for Christmas arrangements.
It has also been in the back of my mind that this could be a source of income during the month of November and December, a time when the garden isn’t producing. It would be a great way to extend the growing/selling season. Evergreens grow rather quickly and if you were only growing the plants for smaller arrangements the greens would be ready to trim in just a few years.
You could also make this work on a small plot of land. It would be like a miniature Christmas Tree farm, without all the required acreage.
The Christmas Cutting Garden
Here is a selection of plants that I have plans to add to my Christmas Cutting Garden over the next couple years. Last year I planted my first tree in the cutting garden, this small Concolor Fir. The needles have an amazing fragrance of orange! It is perfect for Christmas! Below are a few more great additions.
The Balsam Fir- Is a fragrant tree with short, waxy needles that are soft to the touch. The branches tend to lay flat so they make great structural greens that work well in the background with other embellishments on top.
Artic Fire Dogwood – is an amazing bush/tree where the bark of the tree turns cherry red. It adds height and an interesting architectural focal point to any arrangement.
White Pine- has long feathery needles that add a soft woodsy feel. It softens the design of otherwise rigid conifers.
Winterberry- A cluster of these fire-red berries look cheerful in any wreath.
Holly- This quintessential scalloped leaf comes in variegated and solid green. Both look beautiful in Christmas décor.
Boxwood – Boxwood gives arrangements a fresh look, the small clusters of round, waxy leaves look like bunch of bright green berries.
Cedar – Cedar has a wonderful fragrance and adds unique texture and sort of an Olde World feel.
Juniper – Juniper has this beautiful dusty- blue/green foliage and powdery blue berries that look beautiful in wreaths with silver embellishments.
Magnolia would also be a beautiful addition to this list.
All of these plants are available at local nurseries or online nurseries.
You could also offer the pinecones that some of these trees produce. Acorns would be another options if you have some oaks on your property.
My plan is to lop some of these taller growing trees and to train them in more of a bush-shape. This way I will be able to prune each year from the whole plant and not just the lower branches.
These greens can be harvested right after Halloween and will keep throughout the whole season, especially if you live in a colder climate.
Selling the Christmas Greens
Some product ideas include:
Finished/Embellished items (complete with bows ribbons etc.)
Or you could sell the structural piece (Example: a plain fir wreath for people to embellish themselves)
Or (how I used to buy my greens) in bunches for people to make their own
Your investments would be:
The initial purchase of the plants/trees (but once purchased they will continue to supply you with greens year after year)
Time: for trimming, gathering, bunching and making arrangements
Also time waiting for the plants to mature enough that they can be trimmed (This will depend on how large of a specimen you purchase to begin with.)
Wreath forms, wire, twine
Artificial embellishments: ribbons, bows etc.
Ways to Sell
-You could set up a temporary store front at your home.
-Take orders and offer delivery or pick up
-Sign up for a booth at a local craft show.
-Set up an online store
Greens can be shipped similar to how floral arrangements are shipped; a light misting of water and placed in cellophane in a box.