The Wonder of a Wintry Pot

02 Dec 2022

Let your decorating spirit lead the way

By Elizabeth Sugg

If you are seeking a little DIY pleasure, find an interesting pot or series of containers, head to a garden center and go for it. Consider putting your creative spin on a clever planter of flowers that will greet you on your doorstep throughout the winter. A wintry display of flora may even be a good place to begin dabbling with growing plants if you have shied away from the exercise because of the dreaded “I don’t have a green thumb” syndrome. You have been psyched out about something that could become your next new addiction – creating tableaus with both plants and décor. I know this from experience!

The reason wintertime in my view is the best possible time to begin working with plants is because you can channel your love of holiday decorating and crank it up a notch by using live plants as a means to develop a longer lasting display that will carry your décor long into the new year. Between bulbs and evergreens and the addition of pinecones and a small bird such as Cardinal or other miniature statue, you have a chance to move beyond the poinsettias of the holidays and put together an arrangement that can carry you through winter, Valentine’s Day to the coming days of Easter with a little swap of the tableau’s elements here and there. Let your decorating self lead you into the ever-uplifting delight of mixing seasonal plants with your look.

- For your doorstep head to a garden shop and consider filling a shallow terra cotta pot with hellebore and a mix of greenery that catches your eye. Add berry branches for a pop of cranberry red, and a few pinecones for their shape and texture. Through the winter, you can substitute elements for the pinecones and fit in a small plant that catches your eye to vary the mix. As you keep it going, your confidence grows.

- A living gift for a good friend to enjoy in the new year might be a pot or hanging basket of pansies with trailing ivy. Pansies are a type of Viola and love cool temperatures and live through snow and ice, so the upturned “faces” of this friendly flower will provide months of enjoyment. As the FTP slogan goes, “Say It with Flowers.”

- A simple yet stunning look that gives you the pops of red for the holidays and soon Valentine’s Day yet a display that is not necessarily tied to either holiday itself are a series of eye-catching pots filled with Christmas cactuses. Even though a “cactus”, these natives of Brazil appreciate cooler temperatures in a home so keep them away from direct heat sources, and try not to overwater, instead try misting every so often during the week. If you have dogs and cats, Christmas cactuses are not toxic which makes them a good alternative to poinsettias, too, and they can live even up to 20 years and beyond.

- Create a mantle or table display with bulbs such as hyacinths, narcissus and amaryllis in a grouping of aged clay pots on an interesting tray with branches of pine, cones, candles and holiday ornaments here and there. In the new year you can substitute the holiday elements and mix in items that mean something to you, for example, recent photos of friends and family you have been meaning to get printed and framed. In February add some hearts for a bit of Valentine’s festivity, and as winter gives way to the coming spring, add some ceramic bunnies and decorative eggs to herald the coming of Easter. Enjoy yourself most of all.

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