It’s my favorite time of the year – the holiday season! And while I am not a fan of the cold weather or the white fluffy stuff that comes with it, I absolutely love the joy of the holidays. As a kid, my parents would bundle me up, strap me in the car and we would drive for hours to look at Christmas lights and decorations that adorned our local area homes’. As an adult, I still love to do this with my family but now, I am able to participate in the holiday decorating which is even more exciting!
In this blog we are going to talk about outside holiday containers. I just love seeing beautifully designed urns filled with gorgeous greens, colored berries and lights. While they may look very extravagant, they are actually easier to create than most would believe.
First, pick a base for your container. You can find stunning urns, pots, baskets, buckets and other pieces at thrift stores, garden centers, Lowes/Home Depot that will not break your budge. And this is an awesome time to let your creative juices flow. In a previous blog, we talked about reusing your wheelbarrow to create a display of flowers for fall – why not use it again for the winter months?! Also, this is a great way to showcase your style: rustic, contemporary, elegant – you have endless options.
You will want to fill your base with soil – nothing special, just the regular potting soil you would use in the spring. Remember we like to reuse, so you will be able to recycle that soil into your spring gardening as well. If you are using live pieces to dress your holiday container you will want to make sure that you saturate the soil before arranging your pieces. It may seem odd, but these live decorations will still draw up moisture until they freeze. And don’t worry – frozen soil is good because it will help to hold your masterpiece all together and last through the winter months.
When it comes to filling your base – there is only one thing that you will want to keep in mind, and it’s the most important, LAYERS. In order to catch the onlooker’s eye, you want to make sure you are showcasing all of the live and manmade pieces that are filling the pot. The layers listed below are in no particular order and you can start from the bottom and work your way up or vice versa. This is simply a guide to get your mind going!
Height: draws the eye to the top of the piece, the starting point. We love to use dogwoods for height in our planters and they come in a variety of colors that help to give that extra pop against a stark winter white backdrop. Another one of our favorites to create height are Birch Branches. These pieces just scream winter with their creamy white color and natural distressed bark.
Spillers: these are pieces that are going to cascade over the rim of your base. Most people who created a holiday planter before gravitate to pine for this. Pine is excellent for this layer because of the wispy needles. It is also a very heart branch that provides a lot of coverage to your planter. Another awesome part of pine branch is that they are often bowed in the branch which allows for it to naturally spill over the base. Another alternative for a spiller is cedar. Again, use your imagination and see what your local greenhouse has available.
Fillers: this will be the bulk of your container. Here, you can get really creative! There are so many beautiful winter greens that can be added. Some of our favorites in the green tones: magnolia, arborvitae, eucalyptus and juniper (blue undertones). Then go ahead and add some color, almost everyone’s favorite: winterberry which comes in an array of colors. But it doesn’t have to stop there: add pinecones – you can keep this simple or spray paint in any color depending on your style. Lights, for some extra pizzazz! Add Christmas balls or ribbon. Go to your local craft store and find inspiration.
Share your holiday creations with us on Facebook and stay tuned for some of our favorites as well as some of our own!