Home Decor – How to Make an Informal Holiday Container

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 18,313
    Design Expert Jennifer Kirschnick shares her informal holiday container decorating tips.

    Jennifer Kirschnick

    Jennifer Kirschnick is the owner of an urban landscaping company located in Baltimore, MD called Baltimore Garden Company LLC. She became interested in nature while growing up on 10 acres in the country, where her parents taught her everything from how to grow vegetables to how to identify trees. She has an English degree from Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC and a bachelors degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of Maryland, College Park. She has been working in the landscaping industry for over 13 years.

    She has been married for two wonderful years to her husband, Jamol Khamzaev, who works in construction. They live in Baltimore with their cats Darcy, Max and Julius Caesar.

    Hello, I am Jennifer Kirschnick with Baltimore Garden Company and today we are showing you how to decorate the front of your house for the holidays. The next thing that we are going to talk about is decorating a holiday container. This is if you have a simple container, this is going to be an informal arrangement. The container, I am going to be using, this is actually made of plastic, but it is a really heavy grade of plastic and if you have just a regular terracotta container or anything like that, that will work for what we are doing.

    So, the first thing, once you have your container, what you want to fill it up with is you can use your garden soil, if you have extra garden soil, you can just keep that in and then what you want to have at the top, all the way to the very top is floral foam and again, the floral foam, you can get those at any craft store, the brick size, it is on maybe 8 inches by 3 inches and you do want to soak them before you use them for about two minutes. So, once we have our container filled, almost to the rim with either the soil or the floral foam, then we can start putting our greens in and we will make our arrangements.

    So, we are going to put the tallest greens that we have in first and for this container that I am going to do, the tallest piece that we have is this big piece of Southern Magnolia and as we talked about before, you can get this, if you a Magnolia in your garden or your friend has one and you just cut some pieces off of it. Something else we should mention is that when you do cut these greens, a good way to keep them fresh for longer is to soak them in some water, cut the stem off and as soon as can get them in some water and keep them in water until you are ready to use them in your arrangements.

    So, now we are going to put in our Magnolia, it is very simple, you are just going to put it towards the back of the container and you are going to place it down in the foam. Make sure that it is pretty steady, so we have our tall piece in and now we are going to fill in with other kinds of greens. These greens, what I am mostly going to be using is white pine and fir, Fraser fir, you can also use Balsam fir, and you are just going to place it around your tall piece, basically. Just keep placing, you want to put more of the tall pieces in first and then you will put the shorter pieces in front of them. Just make sure that pieces are sitting securely in the foam, you want to do this -- this is really difficult thing to do on days that are below freezing because everything is frozen, so try to do this on a warmer day if possible.

    We are just going to try to make it really fluffy, filled with greens. So, now we have most of our greens in, we are going to start adding in some of our accent pieces for some color and something that I would like to use in a lot of outside arrangements are these berries that are called Winterberries, and again, this grows on a shrub, it grows it is native to this part of the country, the Mid-Atlantic part of the country and if you do want this in your garden, make sure that you get one male shrub and one female shrub, that is the only way you are going to get berries is that you have male and a female plant. So, you just place these in the front of the arrangement for color.

    You can also use American Holly as well, this is just -- we are going to use Winterberry for this arrangement. You can also use something like Rosemary, place satins for some extra accent. Then, if you like you can put in a couple of pine cones, we have these wired onto either just little stick, this is a little piece of bamboo or you can buy floral stick at any craft store and it is really easy, you just wrap the wire around the pine cone and tie it around the stick. Place maybe we will place two pine cones in and then to finish it off, we are going to add a bow in at the front and again, with our bow to help it stay in the arrangement, we have just wired it to, this is just like a little bamboo stick, a very small bamboo stick or you can get floral picks at the store.

    You put that in the front of your container; make sure it is wired onto the stick really well, so if you have a windy day, it does not get blown away and then if you see any floral foam still at the base of the container, you can always take little pieces of Balsam or Pine and hide them by placing the greens just on top of any floral foam that s showing. Then, you put this next to your front door and when people come over to visit and to your holiday parties, then they have a nice welcoming look when they are walking in your front door. The next thing we are going to show you is how to make a container that is more formal than this, using more of a fancy container.