Landscape Logic column: Containers create quick winter decor
December 24, 2013
Patio and porch containers of summer can be repurposed for holiday and winter focal points of interest.
They can be filled with evergreens and other natural materials to create interest in the same spots where the petunias grew this past summer. You may be surprised how quickly a few containers will dress up the cold and dormant winterscape. Here are some tips for keeping porch containers working through the winter.
Less is more. During the winter, there is less competition in the outdoors to draw the eye, so use fewer containers for more impact. If you normally have three pots flanking each side of your door, then scale back to one or two. Or make two large containers and minimize the amount of materials in the remaining ones.
Thriller, filler, spiller still applies. Even though the materials may be different in winter, use the same formula used to combine plants in the growing season. Use a tall element like dogwood branches for thriller, rounded items like dried pods, cones or dried flowers for filler.
Plan an easy transition from holiday to winter decor. By removing red bows or glass balls of the holidays, the rest of the container can keep the seasonal interest going until it's time to plant pansies.
Scavenge your landscape for materials. Many of the components for winter containers might already be in your yard. Create your own sustainable scavenger hunt and look for:
• Berries, such as red cotoneaster, blue or green juniper and orange currants.
• Cones from evergreen trees and shrubs.
• Seed pods and dried plants like yarrow, hydrangea or Echinacea.
• Colorful deciduous branches that can be cut such as red-twig dogwood or others with an interesting shape like sumac.
• Evergreen branches from trees and shrubs or the lowest branches that came off the Christmas tree when you put it in the stand.
If you still need a few more items, then your local garden center can supply the rest.
Becky Garber is a member of the Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado, of which Neils Lunceford, a landscaping company, is a member. You may contact them at 970-468-0340.
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