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

winter-pots-9.jpgTo add vertical interest, McMillen inserted cotoneaster branches between the paperbark birch branches, ensuring there was still soil between the cotoneaster branches and the red pine branches.

winter-pots-10.jpgMcMillen added texture to the arrangement by adding hemlock branches around the cotoneaster branches. As with the cedar and red pine, McMillen used a single branch to measure the height and clipped the rest of the branches to the same length. Ensure there is still soil showing between the vertical and horizontal elements of the arrangement while adding the hemlock.

winter-pots-11.jpgMcMillen then added the magnolia tips; to ensure the correct height, which should blend the vertical hemlock and horizontal pine and cedar layers, McMillen used the same measure-and-cut method as with the cedar, pine and hemlock. Magnolia leaves come flattened from shipping and need to be fanned out before inserting into the arrangement for a more natural look.

winter-pots-12.jpgThe arrangement should look something like this; note how the magnolia tips blend the horizontal and vertical elements of the arrangement together.

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