Tuesday, November 27, 2018

A Little Twist on a Holiday Planter


Come mid-November, it’s always nice to switch things up on the front porch of our Victorian-era house and add a little flourish of seasonal greenery to make things look festive for the holidays. 

A wooden railing that runs along the length of the porch would tend to hide a typical arrangement of seasonal evergreens in an urn, so I have learned to get creative and use a metal plant stand that has some height. 


Step 1

I purchased this plant stand years ago through Pier One, but a number of retailers sell similar items for outdoor floral displays.

An exposed plastic pot could look tacky, so I began this project by tucking a square of burlap into the metal basket (if you don't have burlap, an old coconut liner will do).

Next, I filled a plastic pot with potting soil. The soil need not be fresh and can easily be left over from your summer containers. Its only purpose is to secure your evergreens in place. Moisten the soil, so when the ground freezes, it will provide an extra means of securing the stems of your evergreens.

Place the plastic pot into the stand and tuck in the raw edges of the burlap around the top to keep things looking neat and tidy.


I always have quite a few holiday containers to fill, so I try to forage as much greenery as possible from the yard and the adjacent woodlot. I harvest responsibly so that I don't damage the trees or shrubs I am cutting.

In the shady part of the garden, I am lucky to have quite a number of yews. Every fall they get a good haircut which leaves me with quite a bit of raw material for my winter arrangements. But even with the yew, I don't have quite enough evergreen boughs to fill all my containers, so I also buy mixed bunches of greenery from the grocery store. 



Step 2

As with any nicely designed container planting, I recommend using "spillers, fillers and thrillers" to create a pleasing arrangement of greenery and berries. 

Begin with the "spillers" that will drape down over the edges of your basket. For this, I suggest long pieces of cedar, pine or juniper. These evergreens have curved stems that allow them to hang down gracefully over the rim of the arrangement.



Step 3

 Next, it's on to the "fillers" that will give the arrangement the fullness you want. For this, you can use almost any type of evergreen. I used pieces of yew, cedar and fir. To add a bit of height, I used a few pine boughs and some Dogwood branches that I snipped from the garden.



Step 4

The last step is to add some colorful accents. I began with some Magnolia branches and some pine cones.

For a final pop of color, I used some red berries. If you are lucky enough to find them, fresh Winterberries are a terrific option. In this case, I used some faux Winterberries I had on hand.




 Here's the finished holiday plant stand with my faithful helper alongside.



One last consideration with this type of holiday arrangement–it's top heavy. A strong winter wind could topple the whole thing over. To balance things, I placed a heavy cast iron figure of a squirrel on the base of the stand. If you don't have an object like this, a second smaller arrangement at the bottom of the stand might be nice.

Blooper reel!

15 comments:

  1. You have an adorable little helper there! Are the dogwood branches naturally red? My dogwood is just brown so I was wondering if you spray paint them red?

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    1. These are red twig dogwoods, not the ones with 4 petal flowers.

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    2. That is their natural color. No spray paint was used! I have several types of red twig dogwood and they come in handy when making holiday arrangements like this.

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  2. Great idea for a Planter, I have not done my winter planter as yet, but this inspires me! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thanks Donna! Good luck with your winter planter.

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  3. Handsome Dog and lovely container! I'd better get busy myself.

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    1. Both my dogs are ver lovable. Scrap loves the comfort of the kitchen, but Piper is always happy to be outdoors. He is my constant companion in the garden.

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  4. Pretty display, I really like the use of red dogwood stems. And Piper is lovely!
    Pat

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  5. Jennifer ... love the planter (I need one like that .. the black urn is getting a bit tedious.
    OMG ... I so LOVED that last picture with cutie pie's cartoon bubble ! LOLOLOL

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    1. Glad you liked my planter Joy! Urns do get a bit boring don't they? When it comes to pictures Piper is the perfect ham, so I couldn't resist adding the bubble.

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  6. Sweet Piper, posing so faithfully, what a helper indeed! I love the arrangement, it is just perfect.

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    1. Thanks Karen. Piper is my best buddy in the garden. He chases birds in the sky and I pull weeds.

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  7. You are so talented and creative Jennifer. Your planter is beautiful and I love the last photo of mom's helper! Happy holidays to you and yours!

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    1. Thanks so much. Happy holidays to you to Lee!

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