Use containers to create quick winter décor
The porch containers and planters of summer can be re-purposed for holiday and winter interest.
Fill them with evergreens and other natural materials to create a focal point in the same spots where the petunias grew last summer. You may be surprised how effectively a few containers will dress up the cold and dormant winterscape and brighten your front porch in the process.
Here are tips for keeping porch containers working through the winter.
Less is more. During the winter, there is less competition in the outdoors to draw the eye, so use fewer containers for more impact. If you normally have 3 pots flanking each side of your door, scale back to one or two. Or make two large containers and minimize the amount of materials in the remaining ones.
Thriller, filler, spiller still applies. Even though the materials may be different in winter, use the same formula used to combine plants that we use in the growing season.
- Use a tall element like dogwood branches for height in the center – that’s the thriller.
- Use rounded items like dried pods, cones or dried flowers for filler and
- Add a cascading component like evergreens for spiller.
Plan an easy transition from “holiday” to “winter” décor. Many elements such as evergreens and pine cones used for holiday décor in December transition well into simple winter interest during the months ahead. By removing red bows or glass balls used for the holidays, the rest of the container can keep the seasonal interest going until it’s time to plant pansies.
What’s already in your yard? Many of the components for winter containers might already be in your yard. Create your own sustainable scavenger hunt and look for:
- Berries-such as red cotoneaster, blue/green juniper and orange pyracantha
- Cones from evergreen trees and shrubs
- Seed pods and dried plants like yarrow, hydrangea or Echinacea
- Colorful deciduous branches that can be cut such as red-twig dogwood or others with an interesting shape like sumac.
- Evergreen branches from trees and shrubs or the lowest branches that came off the Christmas tree when you put it in the stand.
If you still need a few more items, the local garden center can supply the rest.
Take time to create containers with a distinctive look that says “winter.” Then stand back and enjoy the scaled-back ambiance of the winterscape.