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how to make dazzling garden planters

how to make dazzling garden planters


Enjoying your patio can be a year-round investment. Creating a decorative winter container is a creative process that will give you a beautiful object that will last on your walkway, stairs or balcony well into March…just in time for spring.

Similar to arranging ornamental pots in the summer, follow the three-step process: Thriller, Spiller and Filler. However you gather your materials, whether you forage from your own farm or a friend’s farm (with their permission!) or buy bundles of greens from your local garden centre, I’ll show you a step-by-step no -fail guide to achieve a festive container that will dazzle.


Fill your container with soil. The soil will act as an anchor for the contents of the pot as well as give the cuttings a drink of hydration before the soil freezes.

This will be the eye-catching focal point of your container. Most often it is placed in the center of your piece, but feel free to be creative. If your container will be placed in front of a wall, you can put a high “thriller” in the middle behind. It doesn’t have to be tall, but your thriller should be different and unique from the other pieces in the container. Dogwood and curly willow are fun options that can also withstand the cold season. Have fun with it!

If you choose something tall and heavy like the birch posts shown below, bury them deep and pack the soil tightly around them to secure them. This is especially necessary if your outdoor space is in a windy location.

Expert Tip: If you are using birch poles like the ones shown in the photo, do not place them upright. Instead, angle them slightly to form a triangle if you’re looking from a bird’s eye view. Although not immediately noticeable, a slight angle creates more depth and gives it the air of a professional job. The length of your chosen posts should be relative to the depth of the container.

The thriller and player are the standout components of the winter stew that get all the glory, but the filler is your workhorse. Choose cuttings and clippings that take up a lot of volume and place them around “Thriller”. Boxwood and cedar are excellent filler choices.

Spiller refers to greens that drape over the edges of the pot, creating a look of abundance. Spillers can be stuck into the soil at an angle, as long as the stem is long enough.
Find a groove between alternating between placing your player and filler as you work, considering the shape of the container. This can be a meditative part of the process.

Adding another focal point in front i

s optional. In this example, magnolia leaves act as both filler and filler. Although they are more expensive in garden centers, magnolia leaves make a beautiful addition to any winter pot and stay in good condition throughout the season.

Expert tip: Go back often and observe how the container looks from different vantage points.

Take your container to another level by adding more stylish thrillers. Add as many bells and whistles as your design taste desires. Winter pots are an optimal time to play and experiment with different textures, heights and colors. Glaze your planters, feel free to glue a large cone on a stick and add it to the mix. Choose gold, silver or red. Grab something festive and sparkly that inspires you. A specific festival piece can always be removed after the holiday season. The most important part of creating your own container is to enjoy the tactile nature and creative freedom of it. It’s a bonus that you get a beautiful arrangement that will be a talking point during the holidays and into the new year. Expert tip: The secret to a well-made container lies in the volume. Even if you only have two types of greenery, you can create an impressive winter pot, just jam that container full.

Enjoy your masterpiece!