Plants & Gardening

Plants & Gardening

Garden Stories

How to Create a Winter Container

I love my container gardens in the growing season, but what’s the best way to brighten your doorstep for the longest season of all: winter? The answer is the easiest kind of container gardening, even for the black thumbs among us. The key is knowing how to create a harmonious design that doesn’t blow over in winter’s first blizzard. I attended a winter containers class at the Garden and this is what I learned:

Making Winter Containers

Materials needed:

  • Winter-hardy container: plastic or fiber container and wood mulch for filler
  • A variety of winter greens: balsam fir, white spruce, white pine, western red cedar
  • Colorful branches: white birch, red twig dogwood, winterberry (artificial)
  • Embellishments: pine cones
  • Tools: floral wire, pruners, garden gloves
Winter Containers at the Garden

Step 1: Fill container with wood mulch to weigh your container down so it won’t blow over in the wind and to hold the branches in place.

Step 2: Place birch branches in wood mulch, and dig down to stabilize branches.

Step 3: Cut greens to desired height for container. Add upright stems of fir and spruce first, then fill in with pine and cedar.

Step 4: Add dogwood and winterberry last. Artificial winterberry will last through the season, but real berries break off or can get eaten by birds.

Step 5: Wrap floral wire around pine cones and attach the other end to your greens for a natural look.

Step 6: Add battery-powered string lights as a finishing touch, if desired.