Holiday Containers by the Numbers, Part 2

img_4383With the basics of container design in mind (see previous post), I set up shop in the mudroom and gathered the equipment and materials for making a holiday container. These included: the pot filled to within 2 inches of the top with compost, four kinds of greens, three decorative things that are pretty and not green (in my case, red-twig dogwood branches, fake poinsettia flowers, and fake red berries), and a by-pass pruner for cutting branches. I donned my garden gloves and went to work.

Spruce tips give a basic structure.
Cedar and pine add texture.

For complete instructions on how to make a holiday container, see the post I did last year after observing Kathy Oss of Squire House Gardens design a wonderful container. Basically, you start with the greens, cutting each branch at an angle before shoving it in the dirt. Since I had a pack of spruce tips, I started with those and created a full base.  Then, I added in the other greens: cedar and two kinds of pine. The different greens give the pot texture and color contrast.

img_4400Once the pot looks full enough with greens, it’s time to add the other elements. Since my container has a definite front side, I put most of the red-twig dogwoods in the middle back to give it some height, then I added in the red flowers and berries. At left is my finished product, which didn’t look quite right to me, so I took a break.

It's all about the texture.

When the 16-year-old got home from choir practice, she took one look at the pot, and sighed, “Mom, you need a focal point.” Ah-ha! So, we did a little re-arranging of the flowers and added a few more of the berries, and things started to come together. One thing I like about my pot is the texture of the cedar, the spruce, the pine, and the berries.

The finished product.
The finished product.

I set the pot out on the front porch and watered it well. The water froze last night (temperatures were in the teens here), so the design is frozen in place for now. Since I’ve been thinking about holiday containers recently, I’ve noticed some attractive designs in downtown Northfield. I’m hoping to post some photos of those in advance of Winter Walk, which is Thursday night.

3 Replies to “Holiday Containers by the Numbers, Part 2”

  1. I really like your step by step with photos for containers. It always looks so easy, and yet…
    Kudos on getting that focal point squared away!
    I will have my gardening friends check out your blog.
    Thank you!

  2. Thanks, Vicky. I’m not naturally real artistic, but I can follow a few rules for containers–and thankfully, I have two pretty artistic daughters.

Leave a Reply

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