Winter Container Gardens

Days of December speak to me of a perceptible shortening of daylight hours; the welcome of twinkling lights, evergreens, and holiday festivity; long winter evenings; a time to pause and reflect on the months gone by; and the ending of another year.

Although the leaves are still falling from the giant oak and maple trees next to our house, I begin to turn my thoughts toward winter colors and themes. The flowers of summer have long since faded and been removed from my outdoor containers, and it's time to add winter greens and whites. I never know where the evergreens will be found but each year I've managed to locate enough to fill my pots.

Tree farms will usually sell boughs trimmed from Christmas trees. However, this year I've been fortunate enough to spot evergreens at the compost bin down at the village hall. Throughout the year I drop off my own yard waste at the bin, so we could call it an even exchange. Just to be sure, I asked the lady in the office whether I could take the pine boughs from the bin and she was most obliging.

I returned a few minutes later with plastic covering the back seats in my SUV, a pair of gloves, and a lopper to trim larger branches, and got quite a haul. You would not believe how my heart danced at the sight of this mound of evergreens, tossed into the trash by one resident and just whats needed by another! It's lovely, soft, long-needle pine, perfect for filling outdoor containers.

I did find it rather a sappy mess to work with, so gloves are necessary, and none of the boughs came inside the house.

After sticking evergreen branches into the pots I added the dried plants I had painted and kept stored in the garage for this purpose.

I arranged white, spray-painted hydrangea and money plant in the urns along with a tall sprig of "something" from a friend, but I can't tell you the plant name because I don't remember it.

In the patio I added lighted topiaries to the string lights already hanging from the ceiling to make it a bit more festive. We need snow to cover up the grass and leaves. We have raked leaves four or five times this season and there are still many more hanging in the trees.

In the darkening hours...

I decided to leave the spike plant in this window box to see how it survives the winter.

And here we are, at the front door, with my new little urns decked out for winter.

Joy and peace from our home to yours on these December days and beyond!