Have you ever wondered how greenhouses and Pinterest fanatics build those beautiful, Martha Stewart-worthy holiday porch pots and outdoor winter landscape decor? It’s actually easier than you think! With just a few tricks and ideas, you’ll be building your own Instagrammable holiday arrangement in no time.
Designing a Porch Pot
The secret behind all those gorgeous holiday porch pot arrangements on your social media is the thriller/filler/spiller design method. This method makes use of varying natural elements by combining “thrillers,” tall plants with impressive form and colour, “fillers,” which cover the soil, and “spillers,” which spill over the edge of the pot. The end result is a multi-dimensional arrangement that appears both elegant and abundant. Ready to get into it? Here are a few tips to get those creative juices flowing:
Start with Your Thrillers
Your thrillers are the foundation for your holiday planter and are usually the largest focal plants in the mix. Popular holiday options include hardy winter plants like boughs of fresh evergreens, eucalyptus bundles, and branches of juniper, birch, and fir. Start building your DIY porch pot by filling it to the rim with soil and pushing your thrillers securely into the center of the planter or at the back of it if you’ll only view it from one direction.
Next, Add the Fillers
Your fillers are dense, bushy components that cover the soil and fill out the design. Some good options include winter holly, spruce tips, pinecones, decorative sprays, and winterberry. This is a great space to add texture and lots of varieties of evergreen cuttings! Arrange your filler plants around the center thrillers, leaving some room at the edges for the spillers.
Finish with Spillers
Spillers are long, flowy elements meant to spill over the edges of your porch pot, making it look robust, abundant, and full of texture. This is a great space to add in holiday themed ribbons, ornaments, or garland! You can also use draping greenery, such as cedar boughs, for a fresh look. If all sides of the container are visible, you should place spillers all around. If only the front will be seen, focus them more toward the front-facing side of the porch pot.
Harvesting Your Supplies
One of the best things about building DIY holiday porch planters is that most of the materials can be sourced directly from your backyard! Here are a few tips and best practices to help you harvest supplies from your trees and shrubs safely and sustainably:
- Use proper safety gear and tools. No one wants an ER visit for Christmas, so wear gloves and safety glasses to protect yourself from potentially serious cuts and injuries to your hands and eyes. Likewise, using proper gardening tools, like shears, clippers, and pruning saws, will make sourcing your materials much safer and easier.
- Harvest boughs, twigs, and cuttings after a hard frost. This will ensure your plants are dormant, reduce the stress you put them under, and help keep any needles, leaves, and berries on the pieces for longer.
- When taking tree boughs, make your cut within 2 cm of the hole or main stem, taking care not to damage the branch collar. This promotes quick scar healing and regeneration, ensuring your trees make a speedy recovery. Avoid making flush cuts or leaving large stubs, as these will stunt your tree’s healing process and leave them vulnerable to disease.
- Avoid taking more than 25% of live growth from any one plant. Sustainable harvesting is the key to ensuring your plants grow back strong next season and can provide you with planter materials for many more Christmases to come!
If you have a new landscape and need to let your plants establish before you start harvesting for holiday decoration, you can always visit our Salisbury Greenhouse locations in Sherwood Park and St. Albert. We have plenty of supplies available for you to experiment with DIY designs for the holidays!
The best part of holiday porch pots is the visual interest and personal touch they add to our Christmas displays. Salisbury Landscaping wishes you all the best in your holiday decorating this year!