Garden Photo of the Day

Creating Holiday Cheer in Containers

Creative plant combinations for winter containers

Robin Parsons is sharing some her handiwork today.

She writes: I loved your recent articles on containers and utilizing existing materials. Hope you will enjoy these pots I design seasonally for a wonderful waterfront-estate client in the Seattle area.

This wonderful container has a festive, holiday feel, emphasizing green and white from variegated ivy, ornamental cabbages, and a blooming Christmas rose (Helleborus niger, Zones 3–8). Points of color add to the scene from a bright red ball tucked in among the plants and colorful berries. I also love how this planter visually borrows the branches of a tree behind it.

These colorful containers are focused on bright foliage, from the purple ornamental cabbages, yellow-foliaged shrubs, and a wonderful heavenly bamboo (Nandina domestica, Zones 6–11) blushing red for the winter.

Another view of the same two containers. What wonderful pots of color and sunshine to light up the sometimes dreary Seattle winter.

I love the use of holiday ornaments in this container, which give it a festive air. The big red ornament echoes the red in the leaves of the heavenly bamboo that dominates the containers. The whole color scheme is a simple, sophisticated, and seasonally appropriate green-and-red.

These two densely planted containers are rich, diverse gardens all their own. Points of color from ornamental cabbages emphasize the tapestry of contrasting foliage from the shrubs that make up the bulk of these planters.


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View Comments


  1. User avater
    meander_michaele 12/11/2018

    Your container compositions are delightful, Robin, and downright inspiring. I love the inclusion of the more chartreusy colored evergreens because they give the impression of being bathed in a beam of sunshine. Strategic placements of shiny Christmas ornaments definitely give off a fun and festive vibe. Thanks for sharing your beautiful handiwork.

    1. springgreenworks 12/11/2018

      Thank you very much! It is always inspiring to update these pots with the seasons and watch them evolve.

    2. Carolyn100 12/22/2018

      Simply beautiful!

  2. User avater
    treasuresmom 12/11/2018

    Robin, all your containers are so pretty. Do you use inserts or plant straight into the pots?

    1. springgreenworks 12/11/2018

      Thank you. I plant straight into the pots.

  3. btucker9675 12/11/2018

    Beautiful containers - they positively glow!

  4. springgreenworks 12/11/2018

    Thank you!

  5. [email protected] 12/11/2018

    I need to get out to my front porch pots right now! Thanks for the inspiration, Robin.

    1. springgreenworks 12/12/2018

      You are welcome!

  6. [email protected] 12/11/2018

    Forgot to ask, is the Hellebore blooming currently? Neither of mine is in bloom yet. I think maybe a bit more sun is needed.

    1. springgreenworks 12/12/2018

      Yes, It is now time for many of the early blooming Hellebores to flower. This one is Josef Lemper. They may appreciate a little morning sun but perform in lower light. Many other varieties will be showing off in the near future.

  7. Carolyn100 12/22/2018

    Simply beautiful

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