Winter Greens Containers – 2015

Ah, another year of landscaping is coming to a close for me. I always feel a bit melon-collie at Winter pot time around the office.

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We pre-fab these at the office and the crews deliver these to the client’s homes. You can skip many of the next steps if you already have a prepared pot of soil. We make them this way so we don’t have to stand outside and do it! I think this almost falls into that category of, ‘Lazy man works the hardest!’ Ha!

We use nursery pots that closely fit the size of our client’s containers. Cut a plastic sheet to fit over the bottom holes. This slows or stops the water from draining and helps freeze the display in place. Next, add florist foam to the middle for stability of the larger ‘thriller’ items, as these could be rather large birch poles. Then fill the rest of the pot with a 50/50 soil/sand mixture. Be sure to really stuff that soil into the pot. The better packed soil helps hold the display in place from precipitation, the weight of snow and wind.

The design is the standard, Thriller, Filler & Spiller! The Thriller is that one large sprig/evergreen, center piece, or for this season, mostly sticks. Filler are those mid-range sized pieces of evergreen, or other material that is generally wider and less tall that the thriller material. Spiller is just that, floppy evergreen, weaker-stemmed items that hang over the edge of the pot.

A few often overlooked hints and tips:

  • Fresh cut ALL of your greens right before sticking into the pot. It does make a huge difference as to how long the greens will stay green and especially how long the holly berries will stay on the branches.
  • After you have created your masterpiece, wet the display down well. It will freeze and hold all the stuff in place. It will also give some moisture to the cuttings.
  • Before using hydrangea, pre-treat them to a blast of  clear spray paint to help them keep their form.


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IMG_2603  photo 5

photo345 Pot 1

I truly love making winter containers!!

Want more?

Click HERE to see 2014 Winter Containers – This link has a few more visual ‘How-to’s’ if needed.

Click HERE to see 2013 Winter Containers


Copyright – Ilex Farrell

38 thoughts on “Winter Greens Containers – 2015

  1. I’m always so impressed with the fabulous outdoor arrangements that other people assemble. I’ve never tried – believing I didn’t have the artistic spark to visualize and create my own. Now I will always remember your “Thriller, Filler, Spiller” 🙂


  2. Gosh these are all so pretty. I had an eye popping time looking at all of these> I wish that I were as talented as you. I have made some grape vines wreaths though a long time ago and sold those via a newspaper add. I really like all of the designs. What is the price range for the most elaborate ones?


    • Thanks! You’re so sweet 😚
      Grape vines are all the rage now. More specifically the balls are popular.
      Are you sitting? I don’t want you to fall over when I tell you the price.. But first, let me at least tell you the material cost, which isn’t as bad. Each of these pots is an average of $60 in material. Much of the decorations (non-evergreen – like birch poles, apples, cones and grape balls, we save each year) so we’re really only putting in about $30 (fresh evergreens) with the saved material. That is actually doable on my budget. I think these are a value, as they are visible for 4 months. Almost as long as a summer display.
      We sell these for $250 – $350 and I have to make 96 pots this year. Nice profit, huh?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow, these are so pretty. If I lived near you, I’d purchase one. I could try to make them but I feel like it would end up like one of those “Pinterest fails”


  4. Ever since your post last year on these, I have been anxiously waiting to make my own (I think that was of the first posts that ever brought me here, actually!). I have one giant pot that is leftover from the old homeowners and is just begging to be made into a winter container (though as my pumpkins are going to sit on the porch until Thanksgiving, it looks like it will be a bit before that happens). I’ve also got two other pots that will maybe get the same treatment. We shall see how it goes…


  5. I saw they are around $250-$300, looking at some of the houses they are at, you can tell these people have that kind of money. Now let’s talk about my friendship discount 🙂 beautiful work, they are truly works of art!


  6. Pingback: 5 Steps to a Fabulous, Blingy Winter Container | Midwestern Plants

  7. Pingback: Winter Display Containers 2017 | Midwestern Plants

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