If you haven't taken the time to take an inventory of your fall garden containers, then now is the time to do so. Do the flowers look spent, or the veggies given up and the grasses no fared well in the winter wind gusts? Then it's time to transition them into winter items that will hold up to the cold and harsh weather that is coming.
The first thing you need to do is toss all the plants and replace the potting soil. Now is not the time to try to salvage anything. Pick new plant materials that can with stand the harsh conditions coming in the colors and textures that will easily mix up and create a beautiful arrangement. Add color with painted sticks, berry branches or colorful shades of greens and yellows.
Fill your winter containers with Birch Branches. They look lovely when clustered together and add a depth of texture to a garden container that is lovely for many months. Ever seen colored branches like dogwood? They come in red to yellow and you can find other textured branches like reeds or thin sticks that come in brown and can be woven and displayed beautifully.
When it comes to plants try evergreens like boxwood that can be made into topiary. Conifers of all sorts will work wonderfully. Any kind of greenery that can handle the cold will be stunning covered in a light snowfall.
Berried branches like winterberry and dried seed pots add an artistic touch that really upgrades any garden container. Ornamental grasses add height to the center of a planter and trailing ivy flows over the pots sides, draping the planter in color.
Don't wait till it's too cold to transition your planters. Now is the time to make the most of the remaining weather.
Feeling the winter blahs yet? Head to the local garden center and get yourself some seasonal leafy greens. These grow great during the winter months and having them fill up those empty flowerpots you have sitting around your home and patio areas is a great plus.
Here's a few suggestions for greens that love winter!
1. Kale - Toss bit sized pieces with fresh lemon juice, garlic and extra virgin olive oil, then saute quickly until just tender. Pair with ancient whole grains such as quinoa or sorghum for a satisfying and nourishing meal. These will fill out a garden planter with curly thick leaves and stems. Many times the underside of the leaf is purple which adds a lot of color to your winter landscape.
2. Collards: A nutritional powerhouse of green goodness, collards make a smart addition to hearty soups. Toss chopped pieces into the pot toward the end of a soup's cooking time, and simmer until soft and tender. Another deep green colorful plant that has large leaves and will fill out any garden planter with no worries. Nice straight leaves with a white vein these are wonderful.
3. Swiss Chard or Lettuce: A relative of the beet family, this hardy veggies comes in a rainbow varieties that bring welcome color to winter dishes. For brunch, stem leaves lightly, then use as a base for poached eggs. Yummy! We really like this green potted up. It has deep purple stems & veins which off set the deep green semi curly leaves. Color wise they are a beautiful in a garden container as any flower or house plant that we have seen. Check them out.
We hope we gave you some great ideas on how to turn winters starkness into a lush and healthy time.
Here is a clever idea we saw on how to fill your winter garden planters and make them look decorative! It's really only 5 easy steps.
Here they are:
STEP 1: Leave 3/4 of the dirt in the outdoor garden pot and fill the top 1/4" with wet floral foam. Decide what to use to create a "thrill" in the planter. In this case birch poles were used.
Step 2: Now fill around the outside of the garden planter. In this pot Western BC cedar was inserted in the floral foam. The plan is to have the greens looking like they are spilling over the side of the planter.
Step 3: Add another evergreen with a slightly different color and texture for contrast. Here it's Blue Tip Juniper. Red Dogwood branches have also been added for a shot of color in this planter. Keep changing it up. Fraser Fir is added as fill and height, making this pottery display look full & 3 dimensional.
Step 4: Now a few Magnolia leaves and Euonymus add more depth. As an eye catcher add a large pine cone to the potted display.
Step 5: Depending on how you feel about sparkle this would be the time to add it to this winter planter. Large silver sparkly wicker balls give a festive feel. Putting different combinations together is easy to do. You can always add berries, holly, curly willow branches, birch logs and all kinds of holiday ornaments. Have fun and be creative.
It's cold outside and everything looks barren. Your garden containers are sitting empty and look sad. You need a pick me up and it starts with your winter flowerpot containers. When you look outside the window it's so much nicer to see container brimming with color, berries, branches, evergreens & decorative lights & art. Here are a few tips to help bring your winter garden pottery out of the winter blues slump!
Beautiful, colorful berries. Jewels of the winter landscape, long lasting berries are a delight to wildlife and humans. While some shrubs produce fruit that is consumed as soon as it ripens, other plants produce persistent fruit. It may not be the first choice of wildlife but this time of year when food is scarce they are happy to have that option
Winterberry or holly dominates winter with its showy berry display. Unlike evergreen holly winterberry sheds its leaves each autumn. Leaving a luscious red berry. Perfect for filling in your garden planters.
How about Firethorn? Bright orange berries adorn this plant in winter and are its best attribute. Its leaves may turn brown in fall and winter but the berries are outstanding.
Filling your planters with evergreens and filling in with colorful twigs, dried perennials and cedar sprigs will add color, detail, decoration and wonderful scents. Begin by filling the flowerpot with sand. Walk thru the woods or your yard to collect items.Sink the stems into the sand and your container garden is ready for winter. NO watering is necessary.
Do you have a birdbath that you can't fill with water because it will freeze. How about decorating it with evergreen boughs, and plastic outdoor ornaments. Make those lonely little birdbaths come to life.
When people first plant a garden or patio area with planters, they don't worry about how that area will look come winter. You rarely go outside let along walk through the back yard. You will find yourself huddled indoors with garden catalogs or photos of new pottery you want to purchase next spring. Then boom! One day you see a neighbors patio area or you visit family and notice that someone has taken care of their planters and created a winter garden look. Now is your time!
The easiest thing to do is start with one key area. Instead of taking on the whole yard, why not start on just your patio area. Start indoors and see if you view that area from any rooms like a family room or living room. If so what is it that you see. Just a portion of it or a few areas.
Once you select an area think about what kinds of planters you will need to add some color. Go with high fired glazed pottery that can handle the cold months. Select some great grasses and plant materials to fill them with. Try Winter Jasmine, Witch hazels, colorful berry bushes and laurels. The whole idea is to create some colorful drama that will be set against a winter white background.
You may want to take into consideration the bark of certain plants or trees. Once the leaves fall you will be looking at what is underneath. Are the branches straight as an arrow or curved in an interesting pattern? Try to picture your potted plants with snow on them. Will they droop over from the weight or be able to support it?
Decorate with some ornaments like birdhouses and statuary. The wildlife will appreciate you placing a birdhouse or feeder for them and then making sure that you keep it filled, and cleaned. Take a concrete statue and place it in an area where you can see it from the kitchen window. Place under a lush evergreen for cover and beauty or leave sitting on a vacant patio area where it will be loved and admired. Many garden ornaments can stay outside from one season to the next so don't strip the garden area once summer is over.
Any of these tips can be used as a starting point for a winter garden. Let your imagination run wild and look at what others are doing to gather some great ideas. Don't miss the opportunity to create something beautiful just because it's cold outside.
Container gardening doesn't have to stop when the growing season is over. Taking advantage of strong plants and seasonal cuttings keeps your pots going into spring.
Rely on plants with winter flowers and ones that feature winter berries. It is always a good idea to include plants with interesting leaves. Many leaves come in variegated colors which add a lot of character and depth. Another great feature are plants & trees that emphasize intriguing bark. Like Crape Myrtles, Oakleaf hydrangeas and Paperbark Maple.
There are plants that have unusual natural structure and grow in different shapes. Japanese maples - Red Twigged or yellow twigged dogwoods. During the winter cold you should realize that this is not the time to dead head all plants. You can attract birds by leaving seed heads of perennials.
Even though you do not want to do extensive pruning during the cold winter months, you can prune evergreens into compelling shapes that add interest and fun. As mentioned before - grasses are a easy way to invite motion in your garden or potted plants. They look especially inviting when placed on either side of a your front door.
Lastly, don't forget to add sensory splashes through out your garden with chimes, mirrors, and pinwheels. The is the time to showcase garden ornaments, potted plants and sculptures.
A garden does not have to look lackluster in winter just because some of the plants go dormant. Use these ways to keep a garden full of life in the cold season.
This time of year you will see exterior creations overflowing with evergreen scent and colorful bursts of the unexpected. Much of the greenery found in these containers are pieces located in your yard or garden. Spruce and cedar branches are tucked nicely into wet floral foam along with pine cones and berry branches. As the season progresses all you need to do is remove branches past their prime and you will still have a full arrangement left.
In these containers you will see many textures abound from spruce, silver fir, Port Orford cedar, juniper and 'Stoneham gold' cedar branches accented by orange-hue eucalyptus, caspia and Southern magnolia leaves.
You tend to think because it is so cold and out of blooming season why bother but as you can see, some attention to minor details can really make a huge difference.
Take a potted Fraser fir, merry with dried artichokes and pear gourds, dyed eucalyptus, caspia, astilbe seed pods, dried hydrangea blooms and pine cone garland and place in a decorative planter and you have a stunning - yet simple and easy to do idea. Many of these products can be purchased in the floral department in major craft stores. Be creative and try different dried fruit and veggies along with your greens for the most interesting effects.
If you are expecting holiday house guests then why not place a fun container overflowing with evergreens and winter plant accents for your garden, on the front porch and provide instant hospitality and a genuine welcome. Use a vintage wheelbarrow, antique wash tub or kids sleigh.
Great Tip - Though howling winds, ice and snow are formidable enemies, many arrangements can last all winter. To prevent containers from cracking as temperatures fluctuate, insert arrangements in place line pots at least 1" smaller than your container. That way if the temps hit freezing you won't crack or damage your decorative container.