I like to use perennials in containers with a few annuals for seasonal interest. This technique enables me to keep containers looking nice for most of the growing season without a lot of effort. Although I enjoy making tweaks throughout the year, my favorite container transformations occur around the holidays. Just after Thanksgiving I collect greens, berries, and interesting branches to use. Then the magic begins.
My winter container transformation approach is very similar to what I would do any other time of year. I start with spillers. You can use individual greens for this or even some leftover garland encircling the base of the planter. Some people use wreaths as a foundational component. Thrillers are next. Thrillers are the tall components that give the display some height. These can include greens in contrasting colors as well as natural or spray-painted twigs or seed heads.
The fillers are the most fun from my perspective. Once the spillers and thrillers are in place, the filler items add amazing interest. I recommend using materials with contrasting color and texture such as magnolia leaves, variegated conifer branches, and berries. The fuller the containers are, the better. Don’t fret if rain or freezing weather is expected. This type of weather will help the containers stay fresh for months.
Enjoy harvesting materials from your property and using them to transform your containers. You’ll add to your garden’s winter interest and enjoy the visual impact until it’s time to transition them to an early spring arrangement. And believe it or not, spring will be here before we know it!