Friday, November 23, 2007

Winter Containers

Winter Containers
Your summer annuals are history and the fall containers are looking a little sad. What next for the container at your front door or the window boxes? Why, evergreens and berries for a delightful winter display.

If you’ve been to downtown Crystal Lake, you may have noticed the new hanging baskets on the decorative street lamps. Kim Hartman of the greenhouse staff designed those containers and has a few tips for you to make your home as attractive this winter. I spent some time in the "Elf House" with Kim this week and watched the staff at work.

If you are starting with an empty container, back fill it with some heavy material such as pea gravel and then cover it with oasis. The oasis, or green florists foam, helps retain moisture for the greens and is easy to design with. You will need to secure it into the container so your display doesn't flip out of the container. We used twine criss-crossed over the top.

As with your other season containers, you want a focal point, some filler and a "spiller" to soften the edges of the container. The containers the staff was working on this week were more rounded without a specific focal point, but you can use spruce or balsam tops for a more triangular form. First, they used balsam or douglas fir stems inserted horizontally at the edge of the container and in the center to give the container some dimension. Next, Kim gave the container some texture by inserting different greens and specialty foliage such as cedar, white pine, magnolia stems, and dogwood for color.

Hope to see you Friday night at the Crystal Lake
Parade of Lights. And Saturday Kim is leading a hands-on workshop on winter containers. Of course you can always stop by the store and we can assist you with your project.

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