Tag Archive | outdoor

How to DIY Evergreen Winter Pots

Start by surrounding yourself with all of your materials. Once you do this, a helper usually shows up 😉 I buy most of my bling from the Dollar Store. Anything I can’t find there, I go to Hobby Lobby. If you haven’t searched out any holiday pot ideas, get on the internet and start looking! Ideas are everywhere. If you’re lucky enough to be flexible with your design, you can come-up with some pretty cool ideas. Using ornaments is my new thang. I hot glue them onto sticks or if you’re luck enough to get styrofoam  balls, the stick pushes right on.

A few often overlooked hints and tips:

  • Fresh cut and strip/trim the stem of needles on 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.
  • Be sure where you want to push the stems into the foam, because the foam will break if you change your mind too often.
  • Before using hydrangea, pre-treat them to a blast of clear spray paint to help them keep their form.
  • If your display becomes covered in snow, be sure to clear it by hitting the branches in an UPWARD motion. If you push too hard on them downward, they may break. A broom does a great job.
  • 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.

Instead of me using a liner for this pot,  I used a tall, steel bucket. This time I did not use any soil, so I filled the bottom with a few rocks and cut the foam to fit in the bucket. This serves three purposes, better water collection for the greens at first, then for it to freeze the greens in place with little expansion, and lastly, a heavy base so the design won’t fall over in the wind and snow.

First, place your sticks (birch poles and sticks here) or the largest diameter things first. You’ll know right away if your foam is going to hold, nothing like making your whole design, and then placing your sticks and busting the foam!! Arrrg! >:-O Yes, I have learned the hard way! Big stuff first!

Think about where your pot will be displayed. Will they be on the sides of your door? On top of a pier? On top of your mailbox? Or on just one side of the door, like this one. I set my sticks a bit to one side (the back) of my pot, so more bling can be added to the front and sides. If you’re pot will be able to be viewed from all angles, I’d center them. If you’re having one on either side of your door, I would mirror-image the bling on 3 sides of the pot.

       

I like to get a ring around the bottom next, as you can be sure that there is a sufficient amount of greens around the bottom. Again, think of where your pot will be displayed. This one will be on the ground, so it will be viewed by looking down on it. Some folks have piers or taller areas where their pots are going, these pots will need to have a nice lower row, as this is what you may see when viewing up at it. I’m using Scott’s Pine for my bottom. I love this material, as it already has pine cones attached! Don’t worry if it sticks up a bit, as you add more to the center, it will flatten out.

On this one, I added Nobel Pine in the rear. Since these two pots are only about five feet apart, I wanted them to be similar. Large birch poles don’t make sense to the location, so I added these mini-birch-on-a-stick! They are best for little pops of color, without the weight of a multiple, large birch sticks.

      

Here’s my corner pot with the extent of holiday lighting that I do. It’s only about two feet wide. These three on the corner are just out of the shot below to the left.

© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

Winter Display Containers 2017

It’s That time of year again! Winter pot time!!!

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.
  • Be sure where you want to push the stems into the foam, because the foam will break if you change your mind too often.
  • Before using hydrangea, pre-treat them to a blast of clear spray paint to help them keep their form.
  • If your display becomes covered in snow, be sure to clear it by hitting the branches in an UPWARD motion. If you push too hard on them downward, they may break. A broom does a great job.
  • 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.

Want to check out some previous years containers? Click away!!!  2016 ~ 2015 ~ 2014 ~ 2013

I will have a couple of DYI|Step-by-step tutorials coming: However, for now, here’s a GOLD one and a SILVER one.

     

      

      

© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

 

Summer Blooming Flowers 8-14-2017

Happy Monday =-)

I had a wonderful weekend, was able to make bail and get to work this morning!

Check out the past –   2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013

Helianthus pauciflorus ~Stiff Sunflower (Pretty sure)

     

Hibiscus moscheutos ~ Native hibiscus    ||    Eupatorium perfoliatum ~ Common Boneset

     

Hibiscus trionum ~ flower-of-an-hour, bladder hibiscus, bladder ketmia, bladder weed, flower-of-the-hour, modesty, puarangi, shoofly, and venice mallow     ||      Vernonia fasciculata ~ Prairie Ironweed

      

My summer pot looks fantastic!!    ||    Eryngium yuccifolium ~ rattlesnake-master

Carpenter bee on Ratibida pinnata ~ gray-headed coneflower

      

Milkweed bugs on milkweed    ||    Euphorbia corollata  ~ Flowering Spurge

© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

 

 

 

Summer Blooming Flowers 8-11-2017

Woo hoo! It’s Friday!! And I’m gonna ice that cake with our annual birthday pig roast this Saturday!! Here is a past post. And another. I’m here for the bacon bread and the crunchy, salty, garlic skin. MMMMMM! Oddly enough, I eat little of the pig, else-wise. I like all the things the other folks bring, also.

My neighbor told me last week that the pig the neighbor cooked up (without my hubby around) was overdone and didn’t compare to my hubby’s. SNAP!!! What a compliment, the padewan has surpassed the master. 😉

I hope your weekend is as good as mine will be!! Namaste 🙂

Check out the past –   2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013

     

Liatris spicata ‘Floristan White’ & ‘Floristan Violet’ & Phlox paniculata ‘David’ & (A very short) Monarda ‘Raspberry Wine’

      

Pastinaca sativa ~ Wild Parsnip    ||     More Monarda

      

Solanum ptychanthum ~Black Nightshade    ||   Verbascum thapsus ~ Mullien and some Queen Anne’s Lace

       

Might as well have called this Blooming Monarda post!    ||    Free bird seed!!

      

Phlox paniculata ‘David    ||    An educated guess is: Agrimonia striata ~ Roadside Agrimony… Anyone???

Oenothera biennis  ~  Common Evening Primrose

© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

Summer Blooming Flowers 8-9-2017

Check out the past –   2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013

Hydrangea paniculata’s on a stick

      

Errr, it’s in the mint family!    ||   Lobelia cardinalis ~ Cardinal Flower

Echinacea ‘Cheyenne Spirit’

Veronica ‘Sunny Border Blues ~ Speedwell

      

Persicaria lapathifolia ~ Knotweed    ||   Salvia reflexa ~ Sage

Hydrangea paniculata ‘Bobo’

Rudbeckia triloba ‘Prairie Glow’

      

Not sure, weedy      ||       Perovskia atriplicifolia ~ Russian sage

Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

Summer Blooming Flowers 7-31-2017

Happy Moanday! My hubby has been smoke free for two weeks now!! Yeah!! It as been pretty difficult. I’ve stopped eating processed foods and carbs. We’ve been doing pretty good, aside from the bickering

        

Check out the past –   2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013

      

Hemerocallis fulva ~ Orange Day-lily, Tawny Daylily, Tiger Daylily, Fulvous Daylily, Ditch Lily, Railroad Daylily, Roadside Daylily, Outhouse Lily   These two types grow at my house.

Monarda ~ Purple Lace

     

Pelargonium citrosum ~ citronella plant, mosquito plant geranium, citrosa geranium    ||    Stumper.

       

Tilia americana ~ Linden    ||    Unknown Grass

      

Saponaria officinalis ~ Soapwort     ||     Lobelia cardinalis ‘Black Truffle’ ~ Cardinal Flower

Red Monarda ~ Beebalm

Delphinium ~ Larkspur

Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

Summer Blooming Flowers 7-27-2017

Happy Thursday!!!   Check out the past –   2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013

      

Prunella vulgaris  ~ Self-heal       ||       Allium stellatum ~ Prairie Onion

Hydrangea paniculata ‘Bobo’

Heuchera ~ Coral Bells

Monarda ‘Raspberry Wine’ ~ Beebalm

Veronica spicata ‘Purplicious’ ~ Speedwell

     

Hypericum perforatum ~ St. Johnswort     ||    Yucca filamentosa ~ Adam’s Needle

Heucherella ~ Stoplight

© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

Summer Blooming Flowers 7-25-2017

Happy Tuesday everyone!!!

Check out the past –   2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013

        

Galium boreale ~ Northern Bedstraw

      

Allium sphaerocephalon ~ Drumsick alloim      ||    Stachys monieri ‘Hummelo’ ~ Betony

       

Linaria vulgaris~ Butter & Eggs Toadflax        ||       Hosta

      

Amsonia ~ Blue star      ||   Unknown grass

       

Pyrola asarifolia ~ Pink Pyrola (pretty sure!)       ||      Ailanthus altissima ~ Tree of Heaven (Very invasive here)

© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

Summer Blooming Flowers 7-19-2017

Hope everyone has a wonderful day =-)

Check out the past –   2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013

What a beautiful combo of daisies and tickseed!!

Campanula carpatica ~ Blue clips bell flower

Centaurea cyanus ~ Cornflower

     

Digitalis grandiflora ~ Big flowered foxglove    ||    Philadelphus coronarius ~ mock orange

     

Dahlia      ||       Lillium ~ Lily

     

Don’t know     ||     Stachys byzantina ~ Lamb’s ears

Hosta ‘Big Daddy   (best guess)

Aruncus dioicus ~ Goat’s beard

Dianthus

© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

Summer Blooming Flowers 7-18-2017

Yesterday is the past,

Tomorrow is not promised

Today is a gift, that’s why its called the present!!

Check out the past –   2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013

     

Rudbeckia ~ Black Eyed Susan, perhaps?     ||     Rosa ~ Wild Rose

     

Aquilegia canadensis ~ Columbine      ||      Dahlia ‘Happy Single Party’

Clueless

     

Convolvulus arvensis ~ field bindweed    ||     Solanum dulcamara ~ Hairy nightshade

     

Lysimachia punctata ~ Loosestrife    ||    Sedum

     

Not sure – Looks to be in Ribes family, tho     ||     Geranium of some sort

 

© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl