Deck Your Containers With Holiday Cheer in an Hour

If you don’t live in a climate that is mild, chances are that your container gardens look somewhat drab during the winter months. Rather than emptying your pots and hoping to get an early spring, then make a holiday arrangement that can add a little bit of cheer through the dreariest of weeks. Employing natural winter branches and greens, you can create a playful splash of green in an otherwise empty container.

Follow this easy guide to creating an arrangement that’ll last through the holidays.

Kim Gamel


A container with dirt
Several evergreen boughs of varying heights
A few decorative branches and accents, such as pinecones, feathery grass and berries

Kim Gamel

Pick a container. You are able to use one that held your summer or autumn agreements. Rather than pulling out the plants and dirt, cut the tops of these plants in the soil line, maintaining the dirt and roots intact. These can help to maintain the greens stable. I’m going to maintain the Dorotheanthus (a yearly from summer) that is trailing over the borders here, since it looks good. If it expires with a future frost, I will just trim it away.

Kim Gamel

Add greenery. Several kinds of evergreen branches can make an enduring arrangement; walnut, spruce, hemlock, holly and cedar are all excellent choices. You can use as much as you like for variety and texture. With this arrangement, I’m using a mixture of white pine, with its short and spiky needles, and Port Orford cedar, which has shiny green, feather-like branches.

Kim Gamel

Start with the largest limbs. These are the foundation for the arrangement. Add one branch in the center toward the back of the kettle, sticking it down into the soil to keep it steady. Subsequently add branches on both sides, arching outward. Continue incorporating shorter branches round the perimeter of the kettle. Fill in any empty spaces with crisscrossing branches, continuing to arch them outward.

Kim Gamel

Add height and play with branches. If you happen to have a redtwig dogwood or curly willow in your backyard already, consider yourself blessed. Trim a few inconspicuous branches and you are all set. If not, many nurseries, crafts shops and even grocery stores carry cosmetic branches, either in their natural condition or painted for your vacations.

With this container I’m likely to stick with a couple of dogwood branches. Their reddish color will last through winter. How many you’ll need will be based on the size of your pot. Start with a small odd amount — say, five or three — and add more if desired.

Kim Gamel

Create interest with accents. Juniper berries, winterberry, crabapples and fountain grass can spice up an arrangement. I’m utilizing blue-berried juniper and yellow-tipped incense cedar for a festive winter look that doesn’t read also Christmas-y. Alternatively, the red fruits of winterberry and crabapple would offer a nice merry touch.

For a focal point, I’m using a large sugar pine cone, but a bow or small wrapped present could also add some glitz.

Kim Gamel

Put in a finishing touch. I’m including a few branches tipped with LED lights for illumination at night. These indoor-outdoor lights need an outlet, but you can find battery-operated alternatives online.

And there you have it! With only a couple of components and about a half an hour, you can make a warm, inviting entryway to your guests all winter.

Show us Please discuss your holiday container tips and photos below!

More: Create a Mini Christmas Tree in a Pot

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