Winter Interest Containers …Potting up a Holiday Welcome


Winter Interest Containers
  • Posted November 19, 2015

Step up the winter welcome to your home with containers that reflect the season's beauty. This is easy to do with live or fresh plant materials, and containers and accessories that are likely already on hand. If you have a large enough area, try a grouping of multiple containers; perhaps several with live evergreens as a backdrop to others that have been done up with fresh cut twigs, branches and seasonal bling.

winter container

Suggested fillers and finishers for winter container arrangements include; dwarf live evergreens, fresh-cut evergreen branches and branches with red or white bark, berry-covered branches, grape vine lengths or balls, lights, sturdy ribbon, ornaments.

When using branch cuttings, containers of soil that spent annuals were removed from work well. If the soil is frozen, douse with boiling water to insert stems easily. You can also use containers without soil and secure branches inside them with rocks, crumpled foil, clean kitty litter or, a grid of branch trimmings – snuggly fitted into the pot. Place taller and more vertical elements, such as red twig dogwood branches, in the center of the pot and shorter, fuller ones, such as spruce branches, around the edge to fill-in or spill over.

winter christmas trims

A live evergreen planting looks lusher when edged with cut branches of a different evergreen – such as a spruce rimmed in pine branches - or a backdrop of red or white branches. Live or fresh-cut, a mix of heights, textures and colors will give contrast to help your arrangement stand-out, especially on a gray winter day. For the full holiday treatment, dress your secured branches or live evergreen with lights, ornaments, and whatever else appeals and reflects your style!

winter container


A Few More Tips

For added height set a smaller pot on the soil of a larger one and do tumbling evergreens or large ornaments to cover the soil line still exposed between the two and then create an upright display in the top pot.

Spruce up pots that have a too plain exterior with sturdy ribbon, twine, garland or raffia.

winter container

For added brightening add snowflake ornaments or silvery Christmas tree bulbs.

Choose lights based on overall size of arrangement and desired effect – be it classy, white sparkle from mini-lights or big, joyous color from vintage-style oversize ones!

winter container

If you have no suitable pots, bird bath bases with hollow centers work well as dry vases for cut branches. They come together attractively with fewer elements and no soil, making them super-fast!

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Dwarf Alberta Spruce 'Conica' (Picea glauca)

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A dwarf evergreen tree perfect for adding structure and a bit of formality. The fine textured foliage and very dense branching give this Spruce a smooth, sheared appearance..

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Redtwig Dogwood, Slilverleaf Dogwood 'Elegantissima' (Cornus alba)

Redtwig Dogwood, Slilverleaf Dogwood 'Elegantissima' (Cornus alba)

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Dawn Sherwood
About the Author

Dawn Ochsner is a landscape designer and garden writer.


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