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Winter Gardening with Outdoor Planters

With winter upon us, do you miss gardening as much as I do? Winter gardening with outdoor planters is a great way to satisfy that craving while decorating  for the holidays.

I just finished decorating the front porch for Christmas and love how classic and simple it looks with my outdoor planters.

Inspired by what I did last year on the front porch, I replanted my garden containers with a whole new look.

I added lots of fresh greens, festive holiday touches and new door mats to the front porch.

And I can’t wait to show you how to make these gorgeous containers.

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Rustic Farmhouse Christmas Decorating Ideas

Decorating the Front Porch for Christmas

How I plant my containers is largely dictated by how I decorate my front porch for any given season.

Because I want them to be the overall focal point of my front porch decor.

When we renovated our home 15 years ago, we considered adding a full sized front porch onto our home. It was high on the priority list, but there were other things we wanted to add to our home too.

And it wasn’t all within our budget.

So we had to make some decisions.

In lieu of having a full covered front porch, we opted for round brick paver steps with expansive gardens.

Not the same I know, but we opted for other amenities instead.

Someday I’ll have that big covered porch.

But this is what I have now and I love it!

When my kids were little, I used to sit here and watch them play in the front yard. Or watch them ride their bikes up and down the street.

Now I sit here among my cottage garden flowers and watch my dogs run around.

It’s sometimes challenging to decorate the front porch because the steps are rounded and my gardens are so expansive.

So instead of going crazy with all kinds of decor, I prefer to keep my front porch pretty simple.

Rustic Farmhouse Christmas Decorating Ideas

Adding Beautiful Front Door Decor for Winter

When decorating the front porch for Christmas, the first place I start is the front door.

Whether choosing live or faux, a gorgeous wreath or something like a basket filled with greens is a must.

The front door needs something green and festive for winter.

This year, I received this beautiful live wreath from Lynch Creek Farms.

Isn’t it gorgeous?

So this wreath was the inspiration for my outdoor planters this winter.

Christmas Wreath Ideas

Shop Live and Faux Winter Wreaths

Winter Gardening: How to Make These Outdoor Planters for Winter

Winter container gardens are a great way to extend the gardening season and are much easier to create than they look.

Outdoor planters for winter are low maintenance, require minimal investment and can last through February if properly cared for.

They are one of my favorite ways to dress up the front porch for the holidays.

Winter gardening with outdoor planters can be as budget-friendly as you want them to be.

If you have lots of greens in your yard, cut from them and save money.

And if you don’t have a variety of fresh greens to cut, ask a neighbor to cut some of theirs or pick some up from the nursery.

As an aside, fresh cut greens from the yard will last much longer than the ones you pick up at the nursery.

Although I’ve planted more greenery on my property to have more of a variety, I don’t have enough to cut to make my containers look different from the last few years.

So I supplemented this year’s containers with fresh greens from the nursery.

My containers turned out beautiful this year.

I can’t wait to show you how I made them!

Winter Gardening with Outdoor Planters

Outdoor Planters for Winter Supplies

  • Fresh cut greens from your yard or the nursery like boxwood, cedar branch, juniper, holly, rhododendron, balsam, frasier fir, and andromeda.
  • Winter decor like ribbons, berries, colored branches, etc.
  • Pruners
  • Gloves
  • Potting Soil
  • Outdoor planters like and urn or other weather resistant container.

Beautiful Outdoor Planters for Winter Idea

  • Gather your supplies
  • When collecting greens from your yard or the nursery, look for greens that have different colors, textures and foliage sizes. Having a variety of greens will make a prettier planter. For my outdoor planters, I used balsam greens, juniper, cedar branch, and variegated boxwood.
  • Consider the container design thriller, filler and spiller technique. I not only use this method for my garden container designs, but also use it when creating centerpieces.
  • Because my containers will rest against the house, I don’t worry about the fullness of the design in the back. If you are placing yours in a location where you will see all sides, make yours fuller all around.
Winter Gardening with Outdoor Planters
  • For this design, I started with the height and stuffed a bunch of tall balsam greens. When stuffing, make it look as symmetrical as you can.
  • To fill it in more and add fullness, I tucked in more balsam branches that I cut smaller and some variegated boxwood. Because the boxwood is variegated, it adds texture and dimension to the planters.
Winter Gardening with Outdoor Planters
  • For spiller, I used cedar branches tucking them in so they could drape over the edges of the urns. I love the look of cedar branches in winter containers. I wish I had them on the property to cut.
Winter Gardening with Outdoor Planters
  • When the spiller looked full, I added more filler greens to the urns to get a little more fullness, color and texture. I tucked in these junipers with those little berries.
Winter Gardening with Outdoor Planters
  • To complete the look, I added a large red faux berry sprig and oversized pine cones.
Winter Gardening with Outdoor Planters
  • When finished, stand back and make sure it looks symmetrical. If you are making two that are the same, put them next to each other to make sure they look similar.

Don’t they look amazing?

Winter gardening with outdoor planters

Shop for Winter Gardening Supplies

To learn how to care for winter garden containers, CLICK HERE.

What Planters Can Stay Outside All Winter?

The best planters for outdoor winter use are ones that will survive the thawing and dethawing from winter weather.

So anything non-porous like heavy plastic or resin, lead, iron, and stone are the best weather-resistant containers to use for outdoor winter planters.

Keep in mind that it’s best to plant winter planters early enough so they acclimate well before the deep freeze arrives.

But also not too early enough where the temps are too mild for them to survive.

How to Care for Outdoor Winter Planters with Evergreens

Water it your outdoor planters for winter when you are done designing it.

If your container is not under a protected area like a front porch or awning, the outdoor elements should take care of them all winter long.

If your containers are under a protected area, there are two options of care: water them every now and again, or leave them be and let them dry out when they dry out.

My containers are located under the roof line and look pretty good until about mid-February.

I pull them away from the roof line during inclement weather or water them when I remember which helps them last longer.

But to be honest, I tend to forget so I pretty much just let them be.

Adding a New Doormat

Because I don’t want to distract from my gorgeous planters, I like to keep my outdoor winter decor pretty simple and just add a new mat.

I love a pretty coir mat layered with a gingham rug.

It just looks a little more finished and cozy.

Decorating the Front Porch for Winter

Shop for New Door Mats

More Winter Gardening and Outdoor Decorating Ideas

 Want to Learn How to Make a Wreath?

Check out my good friend Kim’s blog from Shiplap and Shells where she explains how to make a gorgeous wreath out of fresh magnolias.

Isn’t it gorgeous?

I want one.

She lives in the Pacific Northwest and is blessed with the most beautiful gardens.

Wait until you see how she makes this wreath!

How to Make a Festive Wreath

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Winter Gardening with Outdoor Planters
Winter Gardening with Outdoor Planters

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  1. Pingback: How to Make a Fresh Magnolia Mixed Branch Wreath - Shiplap and Shells
  2. I loved your blog post Stacy! I really need to do a better job with keeping my outdoor containers full of life and festive during the holidays. You have really inspired me. Loved this.

  3. Those are so beautiful Stacy. I pinned this and will start massaging my black thumbs so mine will hopefully look like this! Love it.

  4. Pingback: Creating Christmas Magic When Decorating Your Greenhouse - Shiplap and Shells
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  6. Stacy,
    I love how these look and plan to share them with a link back to your blog on my Dirt Road Adventures on Sat.

  7. Pingback: Dirt Road Adventures - Sit a Spell - The Ponds Farmhouse
  8. I want to do this for my porch but I am wondering if you need to constantly replace the foliage since it is not a plant with roots. How often would you need to replace it? Looks gorgeous!

    1. Hi Fran! I do not replace them at all! They look pretty good until sometime in February and then I just clean them out until I can fill them with something else. If I am really good with watering, they’ll last later into February. There is a greenery spray you can use to keep it looking green if it starts to brown out earlier than you’d like too. Works like a charm!

  9. Pingback: Dirt Road Adventures - Thanksgiving Week - The Ponds Farmhouse