November 29, 2015

Winter Containers 2016

This was last week..........
At the Ritz in Naples, celebrating our accomplishments with an interior client. The warm breezes, Margarita's and the scent of the sea
This is now........
Ahhh, the crisp fresh air and scent of evergreens. Hard to believe it is that time again. 
 We have just begun filling clients containers, hanging garland, lights.......

Here are a few examples, and how-to's to get started.

This is your easiest composition; red twig dogwood set upright (in the remaining soil)with numerous boughs of cut boxwood stems set in an irregular, informal fashion. Come spring, this will be as intact and colorful as when originally composed
The entrance to a man's office; masculine and naturally woodsy
 Set amoung spruce tree toppers are upright birch poles
Up close, a saved birds nest found on the ground last fall, and pheasant feathers. The greens consist of the tree toppers, variegated Oregonia and Blue Spruce
A late day sunset highlights these whimsical posts set in front of a candy & popcorn shop. The ornaments on sticks are plastic and will endure all winter, or leave the sticks in until thawed and pop off the balls
Faux Holly berries, en masse. The rim of the urn is a boxwood WREATH, laid down

 The berries are re-usable year after year because they are hard plastic. STAY AWAY from any berries with a styrofoam core, mid winter they will explode! Real berry stems such as Ivy or Winterberry turn black and fall off
Consider the space. A black urn in front of dark green conifers = a dark space. The white birch sticks calls attention to this corner
 In addition to the sticks is another form of hard plastic berries, in this case "Viburnum berries". They twist, they form, they last for YEARS! Other greenery used is Oregonia (variegated) and blue coned Cedar for a great drape
 A white home is a wonderful setting for the pop of red and green
Massive. When complete 4'+ tall out of the urn and 3'+ wide
A home with Teutonic leanings, requires the same of it's containers;
Spruce tree toppers
Red twig dogwood sticks
Blue Spruce, the underside up as it's blue is more vibrant
Birch Poles; tightly wired together in a cross fashion, then wired to the upright tree toppers
 Same home; Spruce, Faux berries, Silver Bell Eucalyptus
WARNING; These Silver Bell Eucalyptus add  gorgeous color and texture to your outdoor containers. Indoors, as they dry, the strong scent of cat urine will alarm yourself and any guests!
 Another white house, adorned with wreaths and containers. Wherever the roping came to a peak i added pre-made swags of greenery, pine cones and faux holly berries
Ribbon. This bow is from last winter. Real red velvet with an underside of green silk, the plaid ribbon is faux Duponi. 
NEVER use the stiff, faux, 'velvet' ribbon....not when the real thing works so beautifully

 Your first step in creating a winter container is to choose your variety of greens, seeking a complimentary variety of differing textures and tones
 Here we used both blue and green Spruce, dark green boxwood and silvery blue of Silver Dollar Eucalyptus. Once your base is in place, using the same principles of summer containers; "Thriller" (tall), "Filler" (center) and "Spiller" (cascading down), you are ready to add any elements to personalize your composition
 We simply added the faux berries and extra large white tipped pine cones
See the red twig dogwood to the far right of this photo? That is not a shrub but vertically inserted dogwood sticks to anchor a blank corner while adding winter interest
And when the day is complete, add this....Salted Caramel Vodka Hot Chocolate


....LOCAL NEWS....

Here is a clever Gift Idea; A gift certificate to one of our AMY HOWARD paint classes that includes; one sample pot at no additional cost. A value of $69.00


  1. Debra, your trip looks fabulous! The snow and the cold, not so much.

    I always love to see the beautiful, creative containers that you create, they are stunning!

    Have a wonderful week!

  2. The outdoor dining area/cafe at the Ritz overlooking the Gulf is one of my favorite places. My family and I have a tradition of going there every Christmas holiday.
    Your winter arrangements are inspiring.

  3. I meant to ask you this last year, where do you get your faux berries?

  4. Oh dear Debra!!! Your Christmas decorations are just gorgeous!!!! Congratulations! It all does inspire me!

  5. Hi Debra! I'm catching up with all my favorite reads and you of course are at the top of my blog list! Great timing too because I started my front planters today! Always inspiring at 5th and State! Merry Christmas!

  6. bonnie

    i sell them at my shop. where else they may be i do not know. the berries in the container at the popcorn & candy shop are discontinued. last year i bought the remaining stock of 900! we can send them to you

  7. Naples, how lovely... sigh! I love all the natural containers, they are beautiful. This year I decided to go natural decorations, only to find every time I bring one inside I am allergic... So off to the nursery tomorrow armed with your post for inspiration for the outside this time! By the way, some how your blog got taken off my Signature Sites and Blogs, which I added back on! UGH! Sorry. xx Rié

  8. Debra,
    I've been eager for this know how I love your containers. You do the best designs and always natures best! Wow, margaritas in Naples (FL?) and then snow. Well, it works, the now just adds to the beauty of your handy-work.
    I hope your Thanksgiving was filled love and delicious food.

  9. Debra your annual winter container feature is always one of my very favorites. I know what I need to pick up to add to my plantings to brighten things up for the season!! Thank you!!

    The Arts by Karena
    Books for the Holidays!.

  10. All the holiday and winter containers and decorations are fabulous, I am hard pressed to choose a favorite design. Thank you for sharing your creativity and inspirations. Happy holidays.

  11. I always love seeing your winter containers. Ours always look the same out here in ca. I guess that is the price you pay for snow and ice!! I can only imagine how busy you are right now my friend. Stay well and take a nice vacay when it is all over!!

  12. Everything is beautiful, but I particularly love the swags you added to the garland. So lush and full!


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