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Decorate for the holidays from the outside in

It’s hard to find a simpler, yet more personal way to decorate your home for the holidays than with fresh evergreen trimmings.

“You can use all types of evergreens to make your own swag,” said Augusta County horticulturist Mark Viette, who appears on television show Real Virginia. He recommends using cypress, juniper and fir.

“You want a nice, long, flat spray for your swag,” Viette said. “Take time and look for the nice pieces.”

He also suggests cutting two to four branches from each type of tree or plant that you use. Then it’s time to start assembling the swag.

Take the greens, and bind them together using heavy wire. “You may need to use pliers to tighten the wire,” Viette said.

Once the greens are together, add pine cones, holiday ornaments, bows or ribbon, using the same wire to attach them. Viette recommends adding the pine cones or other elements in groups of three.