I have never worked very much with real greenery, but I really love the live stuff. I can't argue with the price, either, since my sister brought me cuttings from her holly tree, just brimming with berries. I decided to make a holly ring to use as a centerpiece -- and I love it.
I used a floral ring that has some candle cups attached -- but small candle holders, sitting on a round tray would have worked, too. I placed the ring on the glass tray and piled small snips of holly all around in circle. I could have wired them to the ring, but I decided not to do that for this one. I would like to be able to discard the brown springs with new ones and I am only planning to move it but from room to room -- so it should be fine.
One tip. Use gloves. The holly has sharp stickers that will really prick your fingers if you're not careful.