DIY Festive Winter Containers When It’s Too Cold for Plants

My Garden Life
November 30, 2015
Table of Contents

Imagine bold red berries and cabernet-colored branches mingling with forest green foliage and ghostly white tree trunks, all standing guard over a fairy land of moss and lichen. The fluffy seed heads of dried grasses, decorated with flakes of drifting snow, are twinkling in the moonlight.

These compositions would be difficult to achieve in a small container garden with live plants, but can be created in under an hour as part of a winter display on the front porch or backyard patio. By working with the parts of plants that show their best face during the coldest time of year, you can build striking arrangements that showcase the quiet beauty of the season.

Miniature Winter Wonderland

Some of the ingredients for your outdoor winter arrangements may be found growing right in your yard. Others can be picked up at a local florist or garden center. All can be stuck into, on top of and around existing containers of soil. Aim for a loose, naturalized look, rather than symmetry.


Install limbs cut from birches or other trees with whitish bark as vertical anchors in the largest pots. Use pieces about 2 inches in diameter and up to four times the height of the pot. Push several into each container, tapping them with a hammer as deep as possible into the soil so they don’t wobble.

Add sprays of red-twig dogwood branches, arranging them in front of birches so they show up well against the white. These need to be pushed just a few inches into the soil to be steady.

Carpet the base of the pots with moss, lichen or straw, allowing the materials to spill freely over the edge of the containers. Alternatively you could use a second group of evergreen branches to spill over the edges

Mix small branches of pine, cedar, spruce or other trees with needle-like foliage below the level of the dogwood branches at varying heights for fullness and contrast.

Clusters of pine cones nestled into this base are a nice additional touch. Place clusters of berries amongst the branches. Holly, highbush cranberry, Virginia creeper and chinaberry all colorful have fruits that persist through the winter.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts

Easy and Fun DIY Garden Markers

Easy and Fun DIY Garden Markers

Labeling your plants is a great way to remember plant names or identify where plants are located. This is the perfect project to take on when you're snuggled up indoors on a winter day planning for spring.
4 Plants with Colorful Leaves for Pots

4 Plants with Colorful Leaves for Pots

Create a vibrant scene to decorate your doorway or porch! Combine bold-colored leaves from tropical plants in containers.
5 Ways to Water Containers While on Vacation

5 Ways to Water Containers While on Vacation

Nobody wants to be welcomed home by crispy, dead plants! Here are five ways to water your container plants while you’re out of town.

Related Posts

No-Brainer Container: Parade in the Shade

No-Brainer Container: Parade in the Shade

No-Brainer Container: A Carpet of Color

No-Brainer Container: A Carpet of Color

DIY Painted Rocks for Your Garden

DIY Painted Rocks for Your Garden

frost map with dates

Frost Map with Dates

USDA zone finder with zip code search and maps

USDA Zone Finder

plant library

Plant Library

Save plants to your personal library

Join My Garden Club to access more features

Already a member?
Log in now

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Share this post with your friends!