December 1, 2010

Winter Containers......Ideas for DIY

Who other than me, still has their outdoor planters to do?
Most of our clients are complete, mine at home...........well, maybe they will get done. So in case anyone else has not attended to your pots, may this inspire and guide you. 
 Step one;  In zones 6 or lower, do not use terra cotta pots, they will absorb moisture, freeze and crack. Any other materials are winter safe.
Now let's get started, easiest first...................
 Do nothing, you already have boxwoods in planters
 Do a little something. You have two-tiered juniper in container, fill the bottom
 Up close; silver fir, blue berried juniper, seeded eucalyptus and cedar 
 My "NO FAIL".........set a boxwood wreath on top of the planter, fill center thickly with red twig dogwood.
                   VOILA!  And for the best part..........this is not only easy but the longest lasting.
 Ok, here is a step up.........boxwood wreath, insert a "tree topper" and.........pine cones at the base. DONE!
 Now, roll up your sleeves, here we go;  I always start with the fillers. In this pot, a multitude of tree toppers to fill the center. Next the spillers, as you can see the one stem of cedar beginning that phase.
Additional fillers and spillers; blue coned cedar, blue berried juniper, magnolia, oregonia and long needle pine.  Finish with the thrillers; ponderosa pine cones, faux  green and red apples plus faux berry stems.
A popular berry is the Winterberry and sometimes Holly berries. I never use these, ever. Not inexpensive but the real issue lies in the cold. As soon as we reach below zero, and sometimes sooner they turn black and fall off.
Faux Lady Apples

  Faux Apples, rose hips and berries. But the only faux I recommend is the solid plastic. How would you know? Try piercing the faux with your fingernail, if it leaves an indent or pierces the fruit, walk away. It is styrofoam with a coating and will burst when freezing. The quality faux's will last for years.
Willow Eucalyptus, cedar, silver fir, spruce, cones and left over ivy and white Kale
Tree toppers, silver fir, cedar incense cedar, long needle pine, blue coned cedar and pine cones. Notice this trough is viewed from outside and in = double materials. Which reminds me.........what ever amount you think you need, triple that.

Our Chicago shop, SG GRAND, is in an urban setting and a contemporary style is appropriate.
Tree toppers, yellow twig dogwood, silver fir, left over white cabbage, eucalyptus, blue coned cedar and incense cedar.

 Pay attention to your settings color scheme. Red would have clashed here.
We designed this garden to showcase these gorgeous urns. My intention with them taking 'center stage' is to celebrate every season, lavishly
 WALL OR WINDOW BOXES..................and an up close view. Spruce, silver fir, seeded eucalyptus, real birch skin and a left over purple kale.
Spruce, long needle pine, cedar incense, red twig dogwood tips and a tree topper with faux red berry stems
No planter? Here we adorned bare earth with red twig dogwood and spruce inserted into the ground

A client that wanted a "Charleston" theme. Her home could accommodate this style which includes an abundance of fruit.

Leyland Cedar, Silver dollar eucalyptus, seeded eucalyptus, long needled pine, yellow twigged dogwood blended with orange toned curly willow and faux osage oranges
Surely not Christmas, but to provide inspiration I LOVE architectural elements in containers. Look around, do you have a favorite statue in the garden? Add it to a pot for an important focal point.

 If our schedules coordinate, tomorrow I am set to meet my friend Esther Roby to view her husbands creation, an entire kitchen created with chocolate! The renowned chef, Alain Roby will duplicate their homes kitchen all in chocolate in preparation for the Geneva, IL. Christmas event this Friday and Saturday. Esther said I could photograph the chocolate setting for a blog post.....stay tuned!
How will I ever behave myself in there?!
Geneva celebrates Christmas Swedish style following it's historical roots. This charming river town turns into a scene from Dickens; roasting chesnuts, carolers, all shops are open, a tea at a local church, lighting of the big tree, the crowning of St. Lucia and.............the house walk. We are one of the shops decorating a home into Christmas..........stay tuned, I think this is a good one! 
For more info look here
Don't be caught with naked pots!


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