I’m a new florist, and it’s beginning to look like I over-ordered on Christmas greens. Do you have any ideas for using them up after Christmas is over?

 ~ Ashli, from Alabama


Hi Ashli,

Your situation is not uncommon; estimating the amount of cut evergreens, wreaths and garlands needed for the holiday is a challenge for many florists. But I do have a few suggestions that might help.

1. Contact the supplier from whom you bought the greens, and ask if he or she would purchase unopened cases back from you. Toward the end of the season, many wholesalers sell out of evergreens, but they might have a customer or two who needs more. It’s worth a call.

2. It’s a fact that the number of natural deaths spikes during the holiday season, particularly from Christmas Day through after New Year’s Day. Because of this, I’ve always been able to use leftover evergreens in sympathy work following the holiday, and it always looks beautiful and has been well received. Just be sure to change your terminology from “Christmas greens” to “evergreens,” “seasonal greens/evergreens” or “winter greens”; that will make them more appealing to consumers after the holiday.

3. If you have evergreen wreaths left over, suggest wreath designs for funeral and memorial services, and use the evergreen wreaths as the bases for those designs. Or create a series of “winter wreaths” for consumers who would like to change out their Christmas wreaths — especially on their front doors — but are not yet ready for spring wreaths. Announce those offerings on your social media pages to attract customers.

4. Mix a few sprigs of evergreens with everyday foliages (leatherleaf, salal, Pittosporum, etc.) in every arrangement you make after the holidays — except, maybe, in your spring flower arrangements — until the evergreens are gone. Tell customers who might be interested that you are incorporating “wintry touches” or “wintry elements” into your designs through the first weeks of January.

5. Spray leftover evergreens gold and/or silver, and incorporate them into New Year’s Eve designs. Or spray the greens with bright, vivid colors, and use them in vibrant-colored or even spring arrangements, for a funky, youthful touch.

6. Create a series of wintry, forest-y bouquets and arrangements, maybe with birds, birds’-nests and/or eggs, into which you can tuck a few sprigs of evergreens. These designs can even include a few stems of daffodils or tulips, to resemble early-blooming spring flowers that have broken through the thawing ground.

7. Dress up flowering plants in January by adding collars of evergreens around the bases of the plants. Insert the evergreen stems directly into the soil, and the moisture in the soil should keep them relatively fresh for a couple of weeks or longer.LoriZirkle081914

I hope some of these ideas prove useful to you and help you use up any excess inventory you might end up with.

~ Lori

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