Festive Containers

Credit: Terry Guscott


These delightful planters are easy to make and will last up to three months outdoors. Simply insert cuttings from your garden into soil-filled outdoor containers. You’ll find gorgeous plant material growing in your garden right now, so grab your pruners and get snipping!

The staff at Art Knapp Urban Garden created a selection of pretty pots using these plant materials:
1. Gaultheria procumbens (wintergreen)
2. Pine branches
3. Magnolia grandiflora ‘Victoria’
4. Eucalyptus branches with buds
5. Salix babylonica var. pekinensis ‘Tortuosa’ (contorted willow)
6. Protea (sugarbush)
7. Salix purpurea (purple osier)
8. Gaultheria procumbens (wintergreen)
9. Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Nigrescens’ (black mondo grass)
10. Chamaecyparis lawsoniana ‘Elwoodii’ (Lawson false cypress)

Any evergreen foliage will suffice – don’t limit yourself to the plants listed here. If you don’t have any purple osier, trying using weeping willow branches. Blueberry, dogwood, contorted willow or witch hazel branches will all create a natural framework for your planter because of their fanciful shapes and unusual colours. You may wish to purchase a few items, such as protea and eucalyptus, from your local florist.

Anna Markowicz, manager of Art Knapp Urban Garden, recommends using garden art to add a decorative touch: “My favourites are iron stakes, glass votive holders and curly willow branches.” Place containers in high-traffic areas, such as the entrance to the house, or use them to liven up a dreary corner of the garden.

Remember to ensure that your pot is frost-resistant. Clay, ceramic or terracotta planters may crack due to water expansion when the cold weather hits. Metal, resin, fibreglass, plastic and wood are all good choices. Fill your container with soil and pack it down firmly. Strip away any leaves or needles that grow at the base of the branches, leaving several inches of bare wood, then insert them securely in the soil. You can extend the freshness of the foliage by keeping the soil moist.