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Many individuals view container gardening as an activity for summer or spring. But there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy this activity in winter, too.
Sure, there are certain plants that won’t tolerate frigid temperatures. But, that shouldn’t stop you from gardening in the winter.
Initially, I also struggled to garden when the temperatures started dipping. But after a lot of research and trials, I learned how to create a winter garden using hardy plants that fare well in such conditions.
So how do you get started with container gardening in the winter? In this article, I’ll highlight 23 of my favorite winter container garden ideas.
Decorate With Christmas Balls
Design Like A Pro
Image credit: allandrewsplants.wordpress.com
Creating a winter container garden boils down to your personal aesthetics. You may find some color combinations more appealing than others.
To reflect the festive season, opt for green and red plants. This color combo matches well with Christmas balls of any color and thrives even in the cold wintry season.
For the best results, consider partnering it with a black container. This idea by allandrewsplants.wordpress.com is a nice way of dressing up your garden in winter.
Image credit: trendhmdcr.com
You don’t have to choose whole plants either. A couple of leafy stems or branches will suffice. You can then add matching Christmas balls to make your porch stand out even more.
Check out how this simple centerpiece with green and red plants makes the porch pop on trendhmdcr.com.
Use An Elegant Urn
Image credit: marthastewart.com
When I first started gardening, I was hesitant to use urn-style containers. When originally thinking of urns, the first images that came to my mind were enormous concrete or cast stone garden containers that have no appeal. But after trying them out, I realized they helped elevate the design of my garden.
If you’re looking to make a bold garden statement, garden urns are an excellent idea. They are also durable, meaning they can withstand strong winds and snowy conditions. And, since they come in different colors, they’re easy to match with your plants and Christmas balls.
Not sure what color of urn to buy for your winter container? Draw inspiration from this cast stone-made urn on marthastewart.com.
Illuminate Your Outdoor Garden Containers
Less Is More
Image credit: hoomdesign.com
One of the simplest winter container garden ideas is to wrap your potted plants in string lights. These tiny lights help you highlight a potted tree with little effort.
Compared to other fixtures, like chandeliers and lanterns, string lights are an inexpensive way to decorate your home’s exterior.
Skip the pricey outdoor lighting fixtures and opt for a simple, illuminated potted plant, as shown in this example by hoomdesign.com.
Embellish With Hanging Lights
Image credit: hometoz.com
If you don’t like the idea of draping your plants in string lights, you can use hanging lights instead. They look just as appealing and don’t take up any space in your garden containers — leaving ample room for your plants or flowers.
Whether your potted plants are colorful or more subtle, hanging lights add a certain elegance to your outdoor scene. Check out how hometoz.com decorates a garden container with hanging light balls.
Utilize Lit Branches
Image credit: decorelated.com
Even though a flower pot alone is enough to increase the curb appeal of your home, you can make it even more attractive by adding lit-up branches.
This easy idea will make your garden containers look festive for those weekend outdoor winter parties. Plus, they’re just as fun to use in any other season.
Want to learn how to decorate your flower pots? Check out how decorelated.com nails this design.
Turn Logs Into Affordable Planters
Use Wooden Containers As Planters
Image credit: decoarchi.com
If you’re not careful, you could spend a fortune on planters. If you’re looking to save a few bucks, a cost-effective approach is to repurpose readily available materials. Upcycling old wood into a planter, such as that from a wooden fence, is one such fun and simple way.
Get inspired by this repurposed garden container at decoarchi.com. Not only is it made from recycled wood, but it contains repurposed planted logs, along with some beautiful greenery.
Complement With Fabric
Image credit: christmas.365greetings.com
Do your flower pots look drab? Add some elegance and sophistication by wrapping them in fabric. You can use lace and red ribbon to create a beautiful contrast to the white logs planted in the container.
Instead of merely covering the pot with fabric, tie a bow around it to elevate its look. If you’re not sure how to achieve this look, check out this example at christmas.365greetings.com.
Use A Compact Planter
Image credit: savvygardening.com
Adding big logs to a floral arrangement can make it appear somewhat untidy. For a compact look, consider using a narrow garden container that packs in everything tightly.
In such a situation, choose a large container with a smaller opening, so you can easily make it look full and interesting.
Looking for a way to keep your winter plants and logs neat and tidy? Take a look at the narrow container found on savvygardening.com.
Use Contrasting Colors
Image credit: fromthegardenshed.ca
Some gardeners are hesitant to use decorative logs in their garden containers because the majority seem to come in white birch. But they’re not all white — if you have green plants in your flowerpot, brown logs make a nice contrast.
Fromthegardenshed.ca explains how you can achieve this look.
Reach New Heights
Image credit: facebook.com
Quick fact: it’s easier to grow flowers and plants in big containers, rather than small ones. Large containers can hold more soil, which can retain moisture for a longer period of time.
Logs also blend in nicely with floral arrangements in larger containers. Thinking of using bigger garden containers? Check out this idea by Del’s Garden Center.
Image credit: homeminify.com
If you have lots of trees in your garden, there’s so much you can do with their sticks and twigs. For instance, you can turn them into gorgeous decorations for your winter garden container.
The best part about this is you don’t need to spend any money! Plus, it’s an easy decor project to pull off.
This illustration on homeminify.com demonstrates how you can use twigs to decorate your flower pot.
Use Similar Tones
Image credit: blog.flagsonastick.com
You don’t always have to use sophisticated and pricey decorations for your planter, especially during the winter.
Don’t spend a lot of money on something that will be exposed to harsh wind, snowstorms, and more. All it takes is adding a few twigs to beautifully complement your potted plants.
Take a minimalist approach by incorporating twigs into your floral arrangements, as shown on flagsonastick.com.
Create Textural Contrast With Noble Fir
Image credit: detroitgardenworks.com
Another smart way to use twigs and branches in your outdoor decor is to use potted plants that differ significantly in terms of their shape or size.
One good low-maintenance plant is the noble fir. They are easy to grow, which is why they make a great choice for container gardening.
Detroitgardenworks illustrates how you can grow noble fir in your containers, alongside your other plants.
Consider Colorful Twigs
Image credit: onekindesign.com
For some, winter is that dreaded season where gardens go bare and dormant and lose all their exciting color. But you don’t have to settle for a drab garden.
There are several winter-tolerant plants you can use to brighten up your garden containers. You can also incorporate colorful twigs to complement this greenery.
Dress up your flower pots with colorful twigs and plants as shown on onekindesign.com.
Think Of Layering
Image credit: deborahsilver.com
We’d all like to have a lush and vibrant garden that brims with colorful plants and flowers. Unfortunately, not all of us are lucky enough to have an acreage, which is where the layering technique comes in.
In this example, you can add layers of flowers in your garden containers, then top it off with some tall twigs.
Don’t have any experience in layering flowers in your pots? Check out how deborahsilver.com does it.
Embellish With Curly Willows
Image credit: houseofhawthornes.com
Curly willow branches are a highly sought-after decorative material. What I like most about these unique plants is that they can be used to decorate almost any area — including your winter garden containers!
Want to know how you can put together an arrangement of curly willow? Have a look at this idea by houseofhawthornes.
Create Intricate Ornaments Using Twigs
Make A DIY Grapevine Topiary Sphere
Image credit: hometoz.com
One of the best things about gardening is creating your own decorations from scratch. Making spherical embellishments from twigs is such a simple DIY project that you can do on your own.
Learn how to make twig balls by checking out this illustration on hometoz.com.
Try Spheres On Top Of Winter Urns
Image credit: eabdesigns.typepad.com
When Mother Nature fills your garden with twigs, don’t sweep them up and throw them away! Instead, get creative and make beautiful some ornaments, such as these twig balls. This way, you don’t have to spend any money on decorations for your winter flower pots.
Want to make your garden containers look more attractive? Consider these twig balls by eabdesigns.typepad.com.
Use Metal Planters
Contrast With Brightly Colored Florals
Image credit: goodnewsarchitecture.com
If you’re looking to add a vintage touch to your exterior, metallic planters are your best bet.
And you don’t have to search far to find metallic objects that you can easily repurpose and use as planters. Coffee tins, tea kettles, colanders, and ovenware are all items that can be used for container gardening.
Need a little inspiration to get started on winter container gardening? Check out how goodnewsarchitecture.com makes use of metal containers.
Keep It Simple
Image credit: texasls.org
Your first instinct might be to contrast your metal garden container with bright, colorful plants. But you can keep it simple by planting in subtle tones. These cool colors fit nicely with the shades that are associated with the winter season.
Looking for one of the best winter container garden ideas? Check out how texasls.org uses metal accents to enhance the beauty of their plants.
Get The Most Out Of Your Windows
Fill It Up
Image credit: pistoncars.com
If you have limited space, window boxes are an excellent idea for your winter plants. With this container gardening idea, you can enjoy the benefits of gardening, even if you’re living in an apartment.
Just be sure to fill the containers with as many winter-tolerant flowers as you can, to make them pop.
Don’t have the right space to practice traditional gardening? Pistoncars.com shows you how to plant your favorite crops in window boxes.
The Solid Wooden Planter
Image credit: homeiswheretheboatis.net
With window containers, you’re free to choose any material when making your planters. One material I recommend is wood because it’s readily available. You can build a planter out of a reclaimed wood mirror frame, a wood toolbox, bed headboard, and more.
Looking to save money and space on your winter container gardening project? Consider building your own planters from reclaimed wood. Check this illustration by homeiswheretheboatis.net.
Thanks to these winter container garden ideas, I can continue enjoying the fruits of gardening all year round. I don’t have to worry about my potted plants blowing away in a snowstorm or that I’ll miss out on a winter harvest.
BTW, if you are looking to add somehow more traditional Christmas items to your winter decor, head over to this page with Christmas decorations deals! You will find tons of items to install!
Did you enjoy my winter container garden ideas? If you did, share this piece with your friends! You can also post questions and comments below.
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