Container gardens for cool weather

Beautiful outdoor containers don’t have to be limited to just the warm months. While planting is limited in the colder fall and winter months, there are many cut greens, twigs and accessories that can be used to decorate containers for your home and landscape.  

When designing a winter container, start by scouring your own back yard for materials. Select various evergreen shrubs and trees first. White pine, yew, fir, arborvitae, holly and spruce are all great choices for cut evergreens and will last for many weeks. Just be sure when pruning these branches, to not prune too drastically and maintain a nice shape to the tree or shrub being pruned from.  

Deciduous trees and shrubs are also a great source of materials. Materials with interesting bark or buds will add some nice interest and texture to your container. Red twig dogwood, birch and curly willow branches are all great branches for winter containers.  

Lastly, get creative with your accessories. Accessories can be natural, like pine cones or various other dried materials. Or you can get dramatic with various permanent botanical berries and flowers and lights incorporated into the container.  

If your garden is lacking in plant materials, remember to check with your local florist or garden center which will have a variety of these materials available. 

There is no reason you have to start fresh with a whole new container, either. Simply cut back the remaining materials in your summer or fall planted containers and use the soil in the container as a base for your winter container. Start by inserting your cut evergreens into the soil at various angles until you have a lush container of various foliage. Then start adding in branches of various heights and finish it off with the accessories. The possibilities are really endless for winter containers. Just be creative!