Gardens - Container Gardening

Create an elegant evergreen planter

Jennifer Murray
Photography by
KC Rasmussen

Decorate your front steps with a festive planter of green and red

With the holidays fast approaching, it's easy to neglect your outdoor spaces in favour of creating a festive atmosphere indoors. For easy outdoor embellishment, create this elegant evergreen planter that will not only bring holiday cheer to your home, but last the whole season long. Landscape designer and third generation horticulturalist Jim McMillen of Landscapes in Bloom shows us how.

What you need:

  • Magnolia tips
  • Cotoneaster spp. branches
  • Red pine branches 
  • Hemlock branches
  • White (Ontario) cedar branches
  • Seeded eucalyptus branches
  • Paperbark birch branches

Getting started

winter-pots-1.jpgTo begin, McMillen selected a heavy urn, and filled it with soil, mounding the soil into a dome above the urn rim. If your urn isn't heavy enough to face winter winds, you can weigh it down with rocks or bricks to add stability.

winter-pots-3.jpgTo determine the length of the cedar branches that form the base of the arrangement, McMillen used a single cedar branch to measure the overhang he wanted. Once the overhang was determined, McMillen cut the cedar branch to length.

winter-pots-4.jpgBy cutting the first branch to length, McMillen used it as a template, cutting the rest of the cedar branches to the same length.


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