Everything in this slideshow
Display Dried Elements
Stocked with color and texture, this container mixes live and dried elements to create a welcome sight on winter’s bleak days. Begin by filling a container with wet florists foam. Tuck in branches of Deodar cedar to create a crown of green around the top of the pot. Add in tall elements such as yellow dogwood, mossy fruitwood, lichen driftwood, and Port Orford cedar. Fill in with sugar and digger pinecones wired to wooden picks, dried roses, and redwood pods.
Trim with Citrus
Trim a tree with citrus for a season-long show. A clementine garland wraps around an evergreen boxwood shrub, and Granny Smith apples add color below the easy-care boxwood. To make a fruit garland, thread a large crafts needle with twine and pull the needle through the fruit. To keep even spacing, knot the twine on both sides of each fruit. Cold weather will preserve the citrus fruit.
Red and green are traditional Christmas colors, and they look fantastic together. Here, several varieties of pine boughs and juniper combine dramatically in a bright red pot with sprays of winterberry and redtwig dogwood. Dried eucalyptus seeds, also painted red, add to the display.
Use Live Plants
Planting containers with dwarf evergreen conifers is the perfect way to decorate your garden. Purchase plants in autumn (when they’re often on sale), pot them up, and water well. Keep them sufficiently moist during the winter, then plant them in your garden the following spring.
This container features a fun variety, including:
- False cypress (Chamaecyparis ‘Baby Blue’)
- Juniper (Juniperus virginiana ‘Taylor’)
- Arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis)
- Variegated wintercreeper (Euonymus fortunei ‘Emerald Gaiety’)
- Monterey cypress (Cupressus macrocarpa ‘Goldcrest’)
Add Flair to Plastic Pots
Using potted evergreens is a fun way to add color. Make it easier: Instead of planting them, find creative ways to cover their plastic pots. Here, strips of birch bark do the job. You could do the same thing with sphagnum moss, woven grass blades, or grapevine.
Fill Window Boxes with Color
Make use of many different materials to add color and drama to your window boxes. This stunning example includes boughs cut from white (concolor) fir, Fraser fir, juniper, and Southern magnolia. A splash of bold red color comes from winterberry stems (which can look good through January or so, when birds often start to eat them). Dried flowers from globe thistle add fun texture and play off the smaller juniper berries.
Create an Elegant Look
Go sophisticated with an all-white color palette to grace your window boxes or containers. We love this stunning example, which features cedar boughs, dried baby’s breath flowers, and pussy willow branches.
You can get a similar look by using white varieties of dried globe amaranth, strawflower, or yarrow.
- Get instructions to make a pussy willow wreath.
- Learn how to dry your garden flowers.
Many gardeners overlook branches, but twigs and stems can add tremendous color and interest. Here’s a fun example: Branches of curly willow and yellow-twig dogwood appear to practically burst out of a mound of juniper boughs, Southern magnolia leaves, eucalyptus, and dried hydrangea flowers. Sprigs of red winterberry add another texture and color.
Keep It Simple
Looking for something easy? Here’s an idea: Take a small potted evergreen (‘Blue Star’ juniper is shown here) and insert a couple of branches, pinecones, and ornaments. The result is a lovely outdoor tabletop display that you can plant outdoors in spring (if you keep it watered in winter).
Give new life to an old tomato cage by utilizing it in your holiday containers! Here, it holds in a bundle of yellow-twig dogwood branches and is dressed up with holiday lights. Dried eucalyptus gives it a cover at the bottom, and a variety of evergreen boughs softens the pot as the branches spill over the sides.
Holiday displays don’t have to be all about color. Keep it neutral with soft shades of tan and brown. Here, dried evergreen magnolia leaves combine with decorative branches, curly willow, and ornamental grass blades (with a bundled string of holiday lights tucked in the center) for an elegant presentation.
Create a simple look that’s attractive all winter — no matter what the weather is like — by pinning moss-covered balls on a stake. It’s an easy idea that creates big impact.
Don’t want to mess with plants? Put your containers to other use! Here, two simple glazed pots are filled with sand and topped with a bed of dried moss. They play host to battery-powered candles in simple cloches.
One easy idea for creating a holiday container is to take an already potted tree and wrap it in lights. Giving it a skirt of evergreen boughs adds extra festive flair.