Winter Porch Pots
Porch Pots in Winter
This whole idea of winter pots started about twelve or so years ago in independent garden stores and has blossomed into mainstream winter culture. They are an art form and, like all great containers, no matter the time of the year, they should be so much more than just okay. They should be personalized and brought to a much higher level. They may just be the only ‘garden’ you have in winter, so let’s make them spectacular!
Winter Porch Pot Basics
As with most things in life, you’ll need to have a strategy for success. Winter presents a very different environment than the one enjoyed during the warm days of spring and summer, so a few key issues need to be addressed. First is the container: you need a suitable size and adequate sturdiness to withstand winter winds and driving rain.
Let it glow! Unique pots really make the arrangement.
Choosing Cut Greens
Designing Your Pot
Design is where artistry brings your arrangements to life – a few focal points work wonders. Once you arrange the greens into the style you love, the next step should be layering in colourful stems of shrub dogwoods. I particularly like the vibrant, red stems of Cornus ‘Sibirica’, the yellows of C. ‘Flaviramea’, and the yellow and orange stems of C. ‘Midwinter Fire’. Arranged among the greens, they jump out with popping stark contrast. The pure white stems of birch, especially ones with nicely textured bark, are fabulous as well. Not to be outdone, the curly willows (Salix ‘Tortuosa’) especially the golden and red-stemmed varieties, add a whole new dimension of twists and curls that play with your eyes. Large, colourful cones – like the long, gently curved cones of white pine (Pinus strobus) – naturally frosted with hardened sap, are among the best.
Showy, colourful proteas.
Decorating Your Porch Pots
Lovely magnolia stems
In Zone 6 and higher, for a little something different you can also create a tropical look. To achieve this, use native BC greens and fill in with stems of evergreen magnolia. Their big, rich, shiny green leaves and brown undersides add a whole different perspective. They also tolerate light frosts and are truly unique and fun.
Large proteas from Australia and other southern countries also have an amazing cold tolerance and are truly eye-popping as focal points. Exotic dried tropical cones, seed pods, and dried foliage add quite a new dimension for an elegant look and a nice, tropical, ‘Christmas Island’ touch.