- More post to come this winter: Please stay tuned.
- Beware of Plants in the Landscape that May Cause Skin Reactions
- Butterfly Weed: Perennial of the Year
- The Marvels of Spring Ephemerals
- Upcoming Native Landscaping Conference
- Learn About Invasive Species That May Be in Your Yard
- Plants for Winter Interest
- August 2017 (2)
- May 2017 (1)
- March 2017 (1)
- January 2017 (1)
- December 2016 (1)
- November 2016 (1)
- August 2016 (1)
- June 2016 (1)
- May 2016 (1)
- April 2016 (1)
- March 2016 (1)
- February 2016 (1)
- January 2016 (2)
- December 2015 (1)
- November 2015 (1)
- October 2015 (2)
- September 2015 (2)
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Tuesday, December 8, 2015
By now you may be getting tired of looking at your remaining spent plants or bare container gardens. Why not spruce them up for the winter with some greenery, twigs and other holiday decorations?
When designing my home landscape, I considered planting evergreens and shrubs that I could cut for use in my winter container garden designs. Not only do these types of plants provide interesting winter landscape characteristics, they also help me save money when it comes to incorporating greenery and twigs into my winter designs.
When late fall comes around, I can inexpensively and properly prune particular landscape plants in very little time. Specific evergreen plants that I like to use include but are not limited to, pine, spruce, juniper, yew, boxwood and holly. Particularly worthy deciduous trees and shrubs may include yellow-twig dogwood, red-twig dogwood, cork screw willow, pussy willow and white birch.
If the above plants are not in need of pruning or not available one must get creative. I typically improvise by using any deciduous branches that are in need of pruning and spray paint them to make them more interesting. As a last resort before purchasing greenery and twigs, I look to my neighbors to see if they would like me to prune their landscape plants. Often times it helps them out and they do not mind sharing the cuttings.
Let me take you through the process that I recommend using. I follow the same concept for the majority of container garden designs: incorporate a spiller, thriller and filler, and then follow the steps below.
The first step is to identify the plants that you will be pruning (Photo 1). Typically, I use a combination of evergreens and deciduous branches.
Then prune (cut) branches back to just above a node on the stem at a 45 degree angle (Photo 2). Late fall/early winter is a proper time to prune most woody plants.
Evergreens can be used as fillers and spillers around the edges (Photo 3).
Use longer deciduous twigs for height, as fillers and/or as a centerpiece (Photo 4). If you are lacking a centerpiece, one option would be to purchase discounted dwarf evergreens, such as, dwarf Alberta spruce for a focal point if the container is large enough to support the small tree. If you plan to keep the tree long-term, be sure to keep it watered well before the soil freezes over.
Additionally, I use pine cones and dried flowers such as, hydrangeas and lotus pods for fillers or as mulch (Photo 5).
Lastly, I may use ornaments, lights or other holiday decorations as a thriller (Photos 6).
Get inspired this season and get outside on a sunny day while the soil is still warm enough to incorporate a quick fix for those dull containers. Containers don't have to by empty just because the growing season has ended.Happy Holidays!