Outdoor Christmas Containers—Scrounging at its Finest!

 

holiday container image 2

I love putting together outdoor holiday containers (except for the winter when we had so much snow that the container was soon buried and I didn’t see it again until the Spring thaw!) Collecting the materials is easy—I utilized my yard, roadside ditches and a windbreak to put together enough stems.  Altogether I collected Ponderosa pine, pine cones, juniper, boxwood, Baltic ivy, sage, dried ‘Limelight’ hydrangea flowers, hawthorn branches (for their bright red fruits), and dried curly willow branches.

The containers I used are made of a nice sturdy metal but they lacked wind resistance.  Four bricks went into the bottom of each container to keep the wind from knocking the whole works over.

As with all containers, the simple instructional adage of something pointy, something mounding and something trailing applies (“pointy, moundy and traily”).   I added the mounding items in a “skirt” around the container, utilizing the evergreen materials.  Next, it’s on to the pointy items, in this case the hawthorn branches with their very festive fruits in their bright red color. To give even more vertical height to the arrangement, the curly willow stems work perfectly.  Adding in the stems of dried hydrangea flowers contributes to the overall fullness of the arrangement and their slightly greenish flowers provide a different texture. The trailing element is supplied by the Baltic ivy—about 3 to 4 stems grouped together.

With nowhere for my collected pine cones to go, I derived inspiration from the hawthorn fruits that fell off the stems as I was putting the containers together.  The pine cones went into a separate shallow container and combined with the hawthorn fruits.  It, too, makes for a nice combination.

A light coating of snow would complete the look but I’ll just wait for Mother Nature to add that touch!

holiday container image 3

Kathleen Cue
Horticulture Program Coordinator at Nebraska Extension

Kathleen serves as a Horticulture Program Coordinator. She educates people on making smart plant choices to reduce use of fertilizers and pesticides in their landscape which has a positive impact on air, water, soil and environmental quality, property values and people’s pocketbooks. She provides leadership and coordination of the NE Extension in Douglas-Sarpy Counties Master Gardener volunteer programs: the Master Gardener Speakers Bureau, and “Ask the Master Gardener” Consultations.


Leave a Reply