That frosty morning “did in” the flowering annuals in my front containers. I had procrastinated and now was looking at dead leaves.
This time of year I shape a large rhododendron to gather material for my fall pots. I pick branches that are too close to the house or intrude on the walkway. Cutting select individual branches as close to the ground as possible shapes the broadleaf evergreen while giving me material for my containers. Makes pruning fun.
Broadleaf evergreens like large leaf rhododendrons, leucothe, azaleas, small leaf like PJM’s, hollies, Pieris, and laurels are great to shape and gather branches for the harvest and winter containers.
Using my loper, I cut 3 or 4 select branches. Then I cut them into container size pieces (around 1 1/2 to ft tall). Minutes later I was assembling my arrangement.
First I cut away all the dead foliage to the soil level– leaving the roots in the soil. I need the soil to support the branches. Then I water the soil well. The branches will last longer if they go into wet soil. Also, it’s easier to push them in.
Make sure the branches are at least 6 ” into the soil. (We don’t want them blowing away and when it gets really cold we want the branch ends frozen solid in the soil. Important to keep moist until then).
High quality silk stems, in this case, orange maple leaf and orange berry stems finish the arrangements. I bought them earlier from a local garden center. Storing them from year to year works well. As a final touch I added the wooden Jack-a-Lantern sign I use every year til Halloween.
30 minutes–from start to finish.
If you’re inspired but don’t have the colorful silk stems. Cut and arrange the branches. Then, later add silk stems and Halloween items!
These Harvest style with a touch of Halloween Containers welcome all who come to my door. Hope you enjoy making them as much as I do!