I’ve been puttering around and gathering greenery to deck the halls and making my way around the Potting Shed.
I always look forward to sprucing up the window boxes with greenery for the Christmas and to enjoy through the winter. Fresh greenery gives the window boxes an instant facelift and best of all, it’s free for the clipping!
Here’s my easy and cheater method to fill the window boxes with holiday greenery:
Cut back the spent annuals, leaving the old plant roots in the boxes with the soil. The roots in soil help anchor the greenery and keep stems in place. Wet the soil with water, soaking it thoroughly until water runs out the bottom of your planters or window boxes.
I used a combination of cedar, juniper, Leyland cypress, pine and magnolia in the window boxes.
The longest part of this process is gathering your greenery. Once your greenery is cut, you can assemble your window boxes in 30 minutes. Place your cut greenery in buckets of water to keep it fresh until you’re ready to assemble.
Here are a few tips to assemble your window boxes or planters:
Make your cuts at 45 degree angles so there is more surface area to absorb water.
Cut more your greenery than you think you need and cut it in longer pieces than you think you might need since you can always cut it down later.
Use a variety of textures and colors for interest. Shortleaf pine is more yellow, juniper is more gray-blue and magnolia is a dark glossy, green.
Add greenery to spill over the front and sides of your window boxes. The lacy texture of cedar is ideal to soften the edges of the window boxes or planters.
Keep your window boxes and planters watered to keep the greenery fresh, even spraying the needles and leaves. Greenery in colder climates and out of direct sunlight will last and look fresh longer.
Cedar and Shortleaf pine trees grow around the edge of our property and the field next to my shed. I was able to cut some branches of pine that had pine cones on them. A pair junipers planted at the corners of our house have outgrown their space and need to be shaped and clipped back into bounds when they start to creep onto our walkway. I wait until December to cut them back so I can use the pieces for window boxes and planters.
If you don’t have access to fresh greenery, you can pick up some from Christmas tree lots for free or for a minimal price.
After all the greenery was in place, I added some large pine cones and some rusty bell garland that I picked up at a local store last year to spill over and jingle its way through the window box.
I used the same method with a pair of pots that flank the bench. I’ll leave the pots and window boxes filled with greenery through winter, removing the jingle bells after Christmas. Magnolia is the first of the greenery to fade but the rest of greenery usually looks good through early February. I’ll remove it along with the old roots and dirt and start over to prepare the window boxes for spring planting with fresh soil in early April.
An embroidered pillow from Pottery Barn several years ago came out to roost on my bench. . .
You can see more Christmas Greenery Around the Potting Shed, here.
It’s been mild and sunny here in North Carolina this December, but the temperature is plunging this weekend, time to fill up the bird feeders!
Hope you’re staying warm and cozy in your nest!