At the heart of it, the holidays are about gathering together, and if we’re doing it right, our front doors should be getting a lot of mileage around this time of year. Since many of our season’s greetings happen at our doorways, we want our front porch to make a welcoming impression. We can do that by creating “porch-pot” arrangements with winter greenery.
A winter porch pot is just an outdoor planter filled with seasonal boughs, berries, and materials. There’s no wrong way to create one; it’s the kind of thing we can get creative with until it looks “just right”. Here are a few ideas for cold-hardy paraphernalia you can include in yours.
Evergreen Boughs - No surprises here! Evergreens are seasonal, cold-resistant and full of texture. The best way to display them in your pot is to highlight the differences between species as you arrange them. Try placing sturdy spruce and soft pine with sprigs of sweet-smelling cedar.
Winter Berries - Berries add a contrasting texture and burst of color to our arrangements. Winterberry, snowberry, and holly are great choices. We also carry artificial berries in interesting shades and finishes if you want to get really creative.
Pinecones - Pinecones layer some more variety in scale, color, and texture. For a front porch pot, consider using oversized cones that folks will be able to see from the sidewalk.
String Lights - String lights are both attractive and practical. They give arrangements a gentle glow and create an outdoor light source to guide guests in. Since the days are pretty short in the Midwest at this time of year, the lights also really make a difference in our overall outdoor decor.
Once we’ve chosen our materials, it’s time to create the arrangement. While there’s lots of room for creativity in how we assemble the pots, this is our most foolproof method for crafting a stunning display.
Step 1: Add the Centerpiece - Choose a tall, narrow piece of greenery to be the focal point of the arrangement. Spruce tops are the most popular choice, but narrow clippings of Fraser or Noble fir work nicely, as well.
Step 2: Create Fullness Around the Center - Arrange oregonia (variegated boxwood) around the centerpiece to add some volume.
Step 3: Add Filler Greenery - Place clippings of Fraser, noble, or balsam firs around the arrangement to fill in the spaces between the oregonia and the edge of the pot. Lean the clippings to slightly trail over the pot’s edge.
Step 4: Create Cedar Arches - Install long clippings of cedar and place upright and at an angle to produce an arching effect over the arrangement. We often use variegated cedar due to the lovely color contrast, but western cedar, port orford, or incense cedar work well, too.
Step 5: Add Trails of Pine - Fill in any gaps with wispy pine clippings. Princess pine or white pine clippings are great picks.
Step 6: Make it Yours - By now, the porch pot is ready to place on the porch. For a more personalized look, add your own flair with colored pinecones, live or artificial red berries, red twig dogwood stems, or birch poles.
Once our porch pots are assembled and looking great, we could simply place it on the porch and call it a day. Or we go a little further to create a cohesive look for our outdoor space. Try pairing at least two of these ideas with the porch pot display.
Firewood - A firewood bundle looks homey and makes guests think about how warm and cozy it must be inside our homes.
Wreaths - A wreath made from the same materials as the porch pots will tie the look together and cut down on waste.
Nostalgia - Antique sleighs, vintage signage, and old-school figure skates are really popular outdoor decor items right now. Incorporating some of these into the porch decor theme will put a smile on guests’ faces.
Benches - Like string lights, the addition of a bench to our front yard decor adds practicality and visual impact. A bench offers guests a place to unlace or remove their boots and creates a surface to place more decorative items, like cushions, signs, and more greenery.
We barely need to break a sweat to make an enormous difference in our curb appeal over the wintertime. All it takes are a few items and a creative eye to add a little festive cheer to our homes, and in turn, spread a little joy to our neighborhoods.