After so many years of installing countless commercial and residential holiday containers, I could do it in my sleep. Seriously, winter containers have to be the easiest thing you can throw together in less than 20 minutes and I’m going to do you a favor and type up the quick and dirty 101 of getting this done.
I promise you that it will take me more time to type this than it will take you to complete.
1) Clear out what ever is already in your container. If it is dead stuff from the fall, just break it off and don’t worry about digging until spring. If, like me, you live in a place where you are dealing with near dark conditions at 3:45 in the afternoon and completely frozen soil….put on the kettle. A pot full of boiling hot water poured over the top will thaw things out long enough to put this together.
2) Start with the center and jam a whole bunch of stems into the soil. I used red twig dogwood that I cut from my garden, but yellow twig dogwood, birch branches, or any cluster of bare branches cut and bunched will do. Look for color and texture. This is an easy thing to forage for if you are inclined.
3) Add some big fill. I used dried hydrangea but you could use bunches of magnolia leaves, or grass seed heads or anything that contrasts and fills space.. This should start to fill the next layer down from your initial branches.
ok – so with gathering and the jamming it in, we have taken about 7 minutes time. Next up is the greens…
4) Fill with greens. Don’t throw away the branches that you had to cut from the bottom of the christmas tree. Also you can gather prunings and extra bits and pieces from any other holiday craft projects. The more stuff the better. Containers should always go last when decorating – because you can easily use up all your remnants.
5) Add something special. For me, my Callicarpa bushes are so beautiful with their branches full of purple berries. A couple of branches added to the mix give it the wild beautiful touch that I love. You might have something else that takes it over the top – perhaps it is some flocked branches, a bow, a some ornaments….anything that makes you happy. Tuck this in and just like that front porch decorations – done.
p.s. it gets dark around 4: 00 — so at 3:00, when I did this, the light was fighting me all the way – hence the blur. I’ll grab you a clearer image in the full light of another day.
p.p.s I’m adding one more thing to this – a string of those little tiny little copper wire LED lights. Old school holiday lights are just too big for adding sparkle to an arrangement like this…but dainty little firefly lights are just perfect for this type of arrangement.