It’s more than the peace of the forest, the unplugged feeling of fresh air and the exercise of a quiet hike through the trees. It’s more than the nostalgic look of White Pine branches or the green of Fir branches gracing an entryway. It’s something called phytoncides, the essential oil produced by plants, that have been credited with lowering stress and cortisol levels. Aromatic volatile oils are produced by evergreen trees like Pine, Fir or Cedar as protective agents and are credited with the ability to lower blood pressure. The phytoncides released by trees and plants into the surrounding atmosphere is to protect themselves from disease and harmful organisms. The benefit of inhaled phytoncides from evergreen can affect your mood to the good. These natural oils are bathing you in stress reduction and nostalgic feelings resulting in a healthier you. It’s the gift that keeps giving.
Whether greenery is hung in the heat of your house or the cold air outside, the conditions are dry and the plant has no source of moisture. You can cut the ends of the branches and let them soak in a bucket of water before arranging them. You can also treat them with an anti-desiccant spray (sold at Flowerland). This seals the pores on the leaves and helps the foliage retain moisture. Evergreens fortunately do have a significant amount of built in “sap” that makes them naturally efficient at holding their needles, even when clipped from the parent tree.
Fresh greenery will last indoors for weeks if you keep them from direct sunlight or a heat source like a heat register. Outdoors they can last well beyond New Year’s day. Display greens out of direct sunlight and away from heat sources; mist with water frequently to help the boughs last.
Here is a gallery of some of the wonderful greens that can be mixed or displayed singularly for a festive and mood boosting holiday presentation for your Christmas season.