Container Gardening · Garden Design · Garden DIY

Holiday Greens Container – Step by Step

With Thanksgiving behind us, it’s time to empty our pots of mums, ornamental cabbage and kale, and other fall annuals. Instead of letting those pots sit empty all winter, add an assortment of greens cut from your own evergreens or purchased at your local garden center. Containers filled with greens set a festive tone for holiday guests and then keep color in your containers all winter.

It is really easy to do. Here is how I planted the pot by my front door.

First, I cleared out all of the fall decor. The plants, straw bales, pumpkins and gourds all found themselves in the compost bin. The wreath went back to the basement. I really liked the way the lantern looked in the fall pot and decided to use it again in the winter design.

Yews (Taxus spp.) are one of my favorite greens to use in containers because their dark green needles offer awesome texture and don’t brown quickly. With pruners in hand, I gave this shrub a dramatic haircut.

After collecting branches from yews, I moved through the yard looking for other candidates for greens.

My husband has been complaining about the branches of a large juniper encroaching into the lawn. Its blue-needled boughs are beautiful in containers, so it was pruned next.

A cautionary note: Not all evergreens should be pruned or must be pruned correctly to avoid destroying the shape of the shrub. Do some research before pruning the evergreens in your yard to make sure no damage is done to a favorite tree or shrub by ill-timed or incorrect pruning.

With greens cut from my yard (and some greens purchased at the garden center), I was ready to design my container. The first step was soaking floral oasis in water and fitting the blocks snugly in the pot.

I added the shepherd hook for the lantern and balsam boughs at the back of the pot for height. These were added at the back because the pot sits in a corner. If the container was going to be seen from all sides, the balsam would been positioned in the middle of the pot.

Next, the yew branches were inserted into the oasis. I love the color and texture of yew branches so they were the main ingredient of the design. Isn’t that deep green color fabulous?

Several boughs of juniper were inserted, spacing them evenly throughout the design.

Red huckleberry added another texture and color to the arrangement.

Just three stems of artificial ivy was all I needed.

I adored these artificial viburnum flowers when I saw them in Dallas when choosing holiday merchandise for The Planter’s Palette last January and couldn’t wait to use some in my own containers.
(Just wait until you see them on my Christmas tree.)

Two types of artificial berries were added next – one a soft green, the other a mix of bright green and red. Of course, natural berries could be used instead of artificial. I like to use some artificial elements because they hold up to harsh winter weather better and they can be used for several years.

Three faux pomegranates were the last element in my design.

I hung the lantern on the shepherd hook to double check the height with all the greens and artificial picks.

I put a battery-operated candle in the lantern and surrounded it with fresh winterberries.

A couple sprigs of greens and a red bow attached to the top of the lantern was the finishing touch.

See how easy it is if the design is taken step by step? You can do it, too! I can’t wait to show you my window boxes and the rest of my front porch decorated for the holidays. (That post is coming on Thursday.) How are you doing on your holiday decorating? I would love to see your photos. Decorate with me!

6 thoughts on “Holiday Greens Container – Step by Step

  1. Diana – have always tried to do a container of greens – your steps should help me actually do it!! I’ll share the result. Thanks for the inspiration and instructions.

  2. On a covered porch do the greens last longer if the floral oasis is kept wet? When uncovered does nature provide the necessary moisture through rain and snow? I love your step by step directions, Diana. Thanks, Nancy

    1. Hi Nancy,
      Some greens last better than others, protected or not. I have found that spruce, yew, juniper and some kinds of balsam work really good for me. Even though they are not technically greens, red huck, oregonia and boxwood stay nice for a very long time, too. If you live where winters are cold, the only time you need to water your pots is if there are several warm days in a row. Once it gets cold and stays cold, the oasis or soil will freeze solid. Thanks for reading, Nancy!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *