Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Winter Urns and Window Box

Let's forget, for now at least, the bags of miniature iris bulbs sitting under the kitchen table waiting to be planted. And the two dozen daffodil bulbs. Not to mention the three dozen or so pass-along yellow iris rhizomes I brought home from my mother's garden today. They'll all get planted really soon...I promise. For this week, though, springtime plantings are on hold in order to give the house and garden a festive makeover before the arrival of the snow.

In the past I've had a local landscaper design my urns. I wanted a "wow" factor I could never seem to achieve. This year I'm determined to deliver the "wow" all on my own. The two pictures above are of an urn on my backyard deck. The yew came from backyard clippings. Fir boughs, cedar branches and bright red dogwood twigs were collected in the country at my in-laws' place. I added a few dogwood branches from my Cornus Alba "Elegantissima" as well. My newly sheared euonymus provided plenty of leathery evergreen leaves with bright orange fruit pods. The red "berries" and white branches are from previous urn designs. I kept them figuring they could be reused some day (today! yay!)

The second backyard urn features the same material as the first but arranged in a slightly different way. The cedar and euonymus are more dominant along the front of the urn creating a "skirt" effect. I also added several dried astilbe blooms from the garden. I didn't think the stems would be sturdy enough to stick into the ground but they were.

There are more of the same materials in the window box with one exception: I found some juniper clippings put out by a neighbour for trash collection and just had to have them.

I'm very happy with the designs. I think they have good height and beautiful colour contrasts. There is a fullness to the urns and window box that was lacking in my earliest efforts (the reason I got a pro to help in the first place.) I can't help but be extremely pleased that these designs didn't cost me a cent! Materials for urns can be crazy expensive! You can bet I'll be poking around neighbours' yards for clippings in the future. Finally, I'm happy I can say "I did that! It's an original design by me!" Funny how I found a creative outlet in some branches nobody wanted.

So things are looking a little more festive around these parts. The question remains: what do you think? Have I delivered the "wow?"

13 comments:

Garden Lily said...

Irena - Ha ha, I have some mini iris and daffodil bulbs also, which I have yet to plant! Your urns certainly do have the "wow", they are gorgeous. When it gets to mid-December, I'd be tempted to put in a few red glass balls, to make it look really festive for Christmas. I love the red twigs and berries.

Helen said...

You've done a fabulous job, Irena. They look very professional. C'mon over to my house with your extra boughs. My urn looks distressingly drab.

Connie said...

Wow, Wow,and WOW! Love your urns and windowbox....so beautiful and creative!
I only planted a couple of tiny boxes of bulbs this year, so at least I don't have guilt for not getting stuff in the ground. But, alas, not many lovely surprises next spring, either.

Nutty Gnome said...

Yep - I've got some unplanted bulbs staring accusingly at me too!

You've made a great job of those urns and the window box. I love the height and colour - and a few baubles at Christmas, you'll be well away!

Fancy nipping over here to make me some?! :)

Bren said...

These are wonderful designs. I am so happy I found you so I can follow you through the Holidays. I am check out Nurserys in my area and adding them to my ' Holiday Green Tour' entries on my blog. I hope you stop by and take a look.

Deborah at Kilbourne Grove said...

I think you did a fabulous job (and as a florist, I should know). The key is getting it really full, with lots of height variation and you did both.
The sstilbe was a great idea, I will be interested to see how they stand up to the elements.

Crafty Gardener said...

Your urns and window boxes look lovely. I've been doing my own for several years now ... guess I'm too cheap to buy them ready made or pay someone to do them for me. Then I wouldn't get all the fun and enjoyment of cutting the branches and designing my own.

heather @ what's blooming this week said...

You definetly delivered the WoW factor - the urns and window box look awesome. You've inspired to me to do mine tomorrow.

Helen said...

Hi, Irena, Can you please contact me by email? I've temporarily enabled email reply on Google comments. I have a question for you.

Helen said...

Actually, I just realized that's not going to work. Anyway, our email address is on our blog... or I might also have given you my business card when we met at the TBG. Thanks!

Salix said...

Hi Irena
Thanks for stopping by at my blog. You did a great job on those planters. I love the winter displayes like that with lots of natural material and a few splashes of colour. You have a lovely Holiday season too.
Lene

Gardenista said...

Very nice arrangements, in my opinion! All it took was some time and work on your part and now the whole neighbourhood can enjoy the beauty too! I hope you're not too cold or socked in with now yet.

Ceramic Urns said...

Urns also can be bought in designs that are reminiscent of cathedrals, palaces, temples and castles that are usually dome and steeple shaped.