Who knows when Winter-y weather will hit us this year? It’s no good trying to push evergreen boughs into pots that are frozen. it’s best to prepare your pots for your winter arrangements now and start on them as soon as Remembrance Day has respectfully passed. Or, “green up” your pots in early November, waiting until after November 11 to add in the sparkly accents.
To prepare the pots, cut all remaining plant material off at soil level. Leave the roots and soil right in your pots (make sure they are pots that are “winter proof”). This will form the base to push in the evergreen boughs. Use a generous amount of at least two types of evergreen boughs at various lengths to form a pleasing base. Layer your boughs so they are full an lush; multiple layers of boughs will be better able to handle ice and snow weight and won’t “pancake” out as the winter progresses. Add height to the arrangement with red dogwood or birch branches. Accents can fill in the body and can be natural accents like dried hydrangea blooms, pinecones, sumac, sedum heads (use spray paint to bump up the colour, if you wish) or decor accents that you purchase (shiny balls, wicker shapes, bows and the like). Be creative and have fun with your choices! Take a moment and think about the style of your home and match your accents to reflect your style or your family’s personality.
Do remember that these arrangements can last throughout the entire winter so wire distinctly holiday accents to a stick that you can cut out once the festivities are over. While stars, pinecones and birch branches look winter-y, shiny red balls, gauzy bows and Santa faces look dated and out of place in February. Make your arrangements full and lush so when you cut out the seasonal accents you are not left with large gaping holes.
The Canadian outdoors is Mother Nature’s Cooler, so you do not need to water your outdoor arrangements unless we hit a really warm spell mid November and your evergreens look dry. Usually though, the moist air is more than sufficient to keep everything fresh and lovely from November to March.