Tis the season for porches adorned with smushed Jack-o-Lanterns, am I right? Welcome to that in-between season...the natural beauty of fall is fading as the trees are losing their leaves, the grass is turning brown and the fields are harvested and plowed. Here in Minnesota, it's not quite fall and not quite winter. Just cold and brown. So I like to take this opportunity to spruce things up just a bit, before it gets bitterly cold outside and all my pots freeze!
I have a few galvanized wash tubs and buckets placed around our home, and in the summertime I love to have them spilling over with colorful flowers. Then when fall arrives, we add pumpkins and some fall decor, and then, of course, the Jack-o-Lanterns. And now, a couple of days after Halloween, it's time to re-think the decor again. I'll toss the Jack-o-Lanterns into our compost pile and save some seeds from the cute decorative pumpkins in hopes that NEXT YEAR I'll get them planted in time. I'll pull the last remnants of the flowers from the pots, leaving me with a clean slate. It's too early for Christmas decorations, but since we live in the country, no one really sees our decor except for our UPS and Fed Ex guys, and they already know we're a little wacky so it's all good. :)
If you live in a cold climate like we do, you'll be so glad you arranged your winter pots now, before it gets cold and the pots freeze! You'll be able to enjoy them all winter long with just a bit of work now. Of course you can purchase beautiful winter pots, or buy spruce tips to arrange your own. But I'm very frugal and we're also blessed with lots of natural beauty surrounding our home, so I'm able to put that to use and not spend any money on our pretty winter pots.
Here's what I do:
First, assess what you have to work with. Do you have some type of evergreen tree or shrub? You don't need a lot of branches. You can create a small pot using just a few trimmings from the base of a smaller shrub. If you don't have any pine trees, ask a friend or neighbor to share, or put a post on Facebook. There are generous people everywhere.
Second, choose some accent items. We have lots of Red-Twig Dogwood shrubs, which are full of...big surprise...red twigs! They're beautiful and add an amazing splash of color. These shrubs always need to be trimmed, so snip away! I also love to use dried hydrangeas in my pots. They hold up surprisingly well to the winter weather and soften the look with their brown tones. I also think they make the pots look slightly less Christmassy during this in-between season.
Once you've gathered your items, simply poke the trimmed ends into your pots and arrange to your liking! I would suggest making sure you securely place the branches into the dirt though, keeping in mind that winter winds are soon to come and you won't want your lovely decor to blow away!
You can dress up your pot with a pretty bow if you'd like, and even add some Christmas lights to it when the time comes!
I love that these pots look festive all winter, even as we settle in for those long post-Christmas months. And when spring arrives, simply pluck everything out and toss it into your compost!
Ang & Matt