Lee Valley Tools    Gardening Newsletter
   Vol. 7, Issue 9
   December 2012
   Design a Striking Holiday Container
Bold splashes of color
This holiday container uses some traditional greenery and berries, and some non-traditional ornamental cabbage for bold splashes of color.

My inspiration for winter containers comes from the talented floral designers who volunteer their skills for the Homes for the Holidays tour, an annual fundraiser held in Ottawa, Ontario. A handful of stately homes are decked, both inside and out, with the finest of nature's bounty. Transformed, they become botanical showstoppers that celebrate the richness of the holiday season.

I've found it doesn't take a lot of time, talent or expense to create a winter container that wows. Local materials, sometimes snipped fresh from the garden, help defray the costs. To make your own holiday arrangement, you'll need a container, a few gardening tools and a warm pair of gloves; not mandatory but certainly recommended is eggnog or hot cocoa to enjoy afterwards. The following are my suggestions on how to create a container that dazzles.

1. Select the Location
Since winter containers can be very heavy, select a site and work on the spot rather than trying to transport the container after it has been filled. When choosing the location, keep your snow-clearing needs in mind. Gather the tools you'll likely use to have on hand, including a sharp pair of pruning shears, some wooden shish-kabob sticks, wire to tie ornaments and pine cones, an outside extension cord, and a timer.

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