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Festive Containers in Colorado Ring in the Season

Carefully chosen local items are the stars in these impressive holiday containers

festive container designs

Jenny Dunlap from Denver has a knack for using locally found plant resources to make her holiday containers pop.

Container #1 (above): To coordinate with the copper container, I used more-earthy tones such as redtwig dogwood, yellow curly willow, and multiple colors of dried eucalyptus. Greens were princess pine, noble fir, and silver pine. Accessories were winterberry and unique lotus pods. 

holiday container with branches and clippings from trees and shrubsContainer #2: I used birch logs for the first time. They have a great white texture but may be hard to install if your pots are already frozen. Luckily Colorado has had a mild start to the winter. Along with the birch, redtwig dogwood adds height and texture. The greens include boughs of noble fir, princess pine, and silver pine. Accessories include winterberry, seeded eucalyptus, and a grapevine ball.

winter container with red berries and curly branchesContainer #3: For this container, I used redtwig dogwood and yellow curly willow for height. Greens are princess pine, noble fir, and silver boughs, and seeded eucalyptus. Accessories were winterberry and dried painted artichokes. I kept this container a little more modern with the architecture of the home.

festive containerI alway use floral wire and landscaping staples to help hold items in place. A quick water in these containers in Colorado will last well into March and April. All containers had coned cedar used as a trailer.


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  1. frankgreenhalgh 12/09/2016

    Hello there Jenny - Great to see your brilliant floral arrangements. Do you know the species of Eucalyptus? Incidentally, the stone masonry work in your feature photo. is also outstanding. Cheers, Frank

  2. lindanewber 12/09/2016

    Hi Jenny. Love your containers. They look so good I might try to do some this year. Merry Christmas :-)

  3. user-7007498 12/09/2016

    Wow, Jenny. Your containers are fantastic. This is one area I have never had the patience to do. I am so impressed. Thanks.

  4. User avater
    meander_michaele 12/09/2016

    Yowza, Jenny, who says winter containers can't be drop dead gorgeous!? Certainly not you and not any of us who are seeing your beautiful creations in today's post. The inclusion of the substantial white birch logs is especially striking.

    1. user-3565112 12/09/2016

      That's very well said. If your skill in the garden are in any way comparable to your prose one can only imagine.
      Good luck, Joe

      1. User avater
        meander_michaele 12/09/2016

        Hi, Joe, well, I have to admit that gpod has generously hosted some of my garden pictures over the past couple of years although , hmmm, I've been downright pokey about sending in any from this year. Anyway, if you type Michaele Anderson up in the search bar at the top of the gpod page, you can see some proof that I'm addicted to gardening.

        1. user-3565112 12/10/2016

          Hi Michaele , I remember one of your posts & as I remember it you liked to move rocks around. ( Just joking) When I was looking for suggestions the fall of 2015 re: the Hospice garden design I believe you said" I see a boulder" I did put a boulder in there but I moved it into the garden with the Gentian True Blue shown in my recent post.
          Good luck, Joe

        2. user-3565112 12/11/2016

          Good morning Michaele, I checked out your previous posts ( 9 I believe) and it's all amazing. The horse sculpture is terrific. " The violets in the mountains have broken the rocks" Tennessee Williams , comes to mind when I saw your Euphorbia in the boulders. Your photos of the wreaths are terrific & worthy of re-posting. Have a great day & good luck,Joe

  5. user-3565112 12/09/2016

    Every one of your displays is imaginative & unique.. To think that you made all that beauty from free stuff in your neighborhood makes it all the more impressive. The imagination ,comments & terrific photos shown by GPOD'R brightens every morning. "Half the interest of the garden is the constant exercise of the imagination" C.W. Earle
    Thank you & good luck, Joe

    1. User avater
      meander_michaele 12/09/2016

      Oh, Joe, I love that quote! It really helps explain why we all work so hard but happily in our gardens. Yes, much of it might seem like drudgery to those not addicted to the process but it's for those opportunities of creativity that are also part of it that we toil away.

      1. User avater
        LindaonWhidbey 12/09/2016

        Joe, great quote that explains exactly why many of us garden, as Michaela so eloquently expressed.

        1. user-3565112 12/11/2016

          Linda, I I saw that quote in The Ultimate Book of Quotations & I believe it was free on Kindle. I apologize for this late response. This time of year can get hectic & I tend to lose track of things.
          Good luck,Joe

    2. eddireid 12/09/2016

      That is exactly what keeps us going, Joe! It is all a constant planning, isn't it?

      1. user-3565112 12/10/2016

        Eddi, You're right about that & it's at least half the fun of gardening with none of the expense, Even when things don't work out according to plan another door opens & luckily none of the stuff we do is welded in
        place. Good luck, Joe

  6. greengenes 12/09/2016

    Hi Jenny..thanks for sharing these with us. They give us great ideas for use of our greens and things too! All of them are very beautiful! Merry Christmas!

  7. Cenepk10 12/09/2016

    Looking Pretty up there in Colorado

  8. foxglove12 12/09/2016

    All so beautiful! What a great talent. Thanks for sharing.

  9. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 12/09/2016

    These are beautiful! These are the kind of winter containers that I could actually have over the winter. I may have to get out and get some greens and give it a try. Thanks for sharing your great design talent and these inspiring Colorado containers!

    1. eddireid 12/09/2016

      Come over and raid mine, Tim.

  10. Chris_N 12/09/2016

    Very inspiring. I am always looking for ways to add variety to my winter containers and the use of eucalyptus and lotus pods are a great ideas. I assume that is white cedar you are using as a spiller around the edges of the pots?

  11. Sunshine111 12/09/2016

    Lovely! please come and do mine, I live in New Hampshire! Free room and board included!

  12. cynthiamccain 12/09/2016

    Absolutely stunning, Jenny--thanks for the inspiration to think outside the box! ☺️

  13. sheila_schultz 12/09/2016

    Jenny, your winter containers are stunning! The different textures provided by the assorted greens and dried materials create so much interest... great combos. The birch branches are a particularly fun vertical element. I've been waiting for the tree guys to show up next door to do some trimming on an old aspen so I can gather my own stash of branches for next years containers!

  14. schatzi 12/09/2016

    Such stunning beauty it's impossible to pick a favorite! Creative, original, gorgeous. The vertical elements really make these arrangements special. Great job.

  15. OregonGardenGal 12/09/2016

    Wow! those are beautiful. Great variety of colors and textures!

  16. User avater
    LindaonWhidbey 12/09/2016

    Jenny, I wish that I had seen your containers before doing mine. You have great ideas and a real sense of proportion. A friend and I are also in charge of our garden club pots in Coupeville and decorated some of those for winter. We really needed more height and I'm totally stealing your birch branch idea for next year:) Thanks for sharing.

  17. eddireid 12/09/2016

    Your post is very timely for me Jenny. We just dug out our containers and bought the tree today.
    Love all that you have designed and thank you for the great ideas. Here in Ohio my containers usually survive until Spring, too. This will be fun. Thank you again.
    Small note - when using holly with berries we had several bluebirds come onto the porch to feast. Now we simply have to use holly every time!

  18. thevioletfern 12/09/2016

    These are beautiful! I used to always make winter containers before I migrated. I miss creating them. Yours are so inspiring!

  19. user-5478428 12/09/2016

    These are well done!

  20. perenniallycrazy 12/10/2016

    Your creations are so luscious and inspire me to make some. Happy Holidays and Thank you Jenny!

  21. brianmazzer 12/11/2016

    What beautiful arrangements. I am a florist in Australia and i have never seen such creative work from things gathered around.
    These containers have inspired me to create something similar for my front porch even though it is quite hot they won't last so well here in our current heat.
    Thanks for the inspiration.

    1. frankgreenhalgh 12/11/2016

      Hey Brian - nice to have another Aussie participating in the dialogue. Where are you located? Cheers from Metung, Victoria

      1. brianmazzer 12/12/2016

        Hi Frank. I currently live in Brisbane where it is hot and mostly dry. We love it when a thunderstorm arrives bringing with it heavenly rain to green the place up again.

        1. frankgreenhalgh 12/12/2016

          G'day Brian - It has been unusually cool in southern Victoria, and is just starting to warm up. The thunderstorm down here a week or so ago caused a severe asthma outbreak (8 deaths; 8,500 hospitalised).

          I assume that you obtain flowers from all around the country for your florist shop (e.g. through the Brisbane wholesale flower market). It would be great if you could post some of your flower arrangements on the GPOD blog, especially those featuring Aussie flora.

          Cheers, Frank

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