By Beth Zollars

5 Minute Read


Decking the Halls, jingling all the way, and desperately seeking to find your silent night?  Helping you create some downtime over the holidays, here’s a time and budget saving suggestion allowing time for a hot toddy by the fire.

I love my holiday outdoor pots stuffed with natural greenery. In years past I have used wonderful landscapers, and talented florists to design them, and always looking gorgeous they never disappoint.

Considering 2018 the year of new adventures, creating my holiday pots while a bold move, I thought – why not? I love being outdoors, and I love shopping for greenery for my interiors, braving the cold and inspecting the pine and cedar boughs, mingled amongst the curly willow and boxwoods.

Yes, I absolutely use fresh greens. Not budging.  I know it can be a huge mess especially indoors. I prefer to use natural items during the year, adding plastic during the holidays, no thank you. If you are a die-hard fake garland gal or have pet or allergy issues, I’m suggesting buying a few real stems and before your holiday entertaining stick some real pieces into the fake garland for an authentic pine scent and aesthetic.

Now for the fun.

I am not a huge DIY person, let’s just set the record straight.

I can do floral arrangements, interior decor and a bit of poof and fluff- but make no mistake, at a minimum – I usually end up with several emergency room worthy glue gun burns.

Besides the following is truly easy-peasy – promise and it actually happened by mistake.

I spent so much time shopping for the greenery, truly in fa la la la land, by the time I got home, I had about an hour of sunlight left. Anticipating a huge Kansas City snowstorm meaning a few rain showers, or snowmageddon. You just never know.

Better get busy.

Pots are too darn heavy to drag inside, no choice but to dig in and put it in overdrive.

Laying out my greens  I went to work. And you know what? I did it in under an hour. Not only that but at one point chasing my dog down the street as she took off after some wild beast -actually more like 47 min pots.

Yes- Shelly (my dog) won’t even look at the camera, still in the doghouse – and while I’m smiling on the outside- my heart is still racing a thousand miles an hour after chasing her.

Follow below for the step by step how-to’s on designing your beautiful holiday pots in an hour (or 47 min.)

Step 1

Tools you will need;

Scissors, Garden Sheers, and a coffee with Baileys.. just saying.

Layout all your greens, berries, pinecones seeing what you have to work with. I prefer natural looking arrangements, not quite perfect but lovely. Here I used;

Left to Right- Magnolia Tips, Pepper Berry, Big Red Pussy Willow, Oregonia (Variegated Boxwoods), Pinecones, Fraser Fir, Incense Cedar, and regular Cedar (both drape beautifully), more Magnolia, Pepper Berry, and Boxwoods. Use what you have, if you want to forage in your yard and “Go Martha”, by all means, do it!  In the Adirondacks I usually cut everything from the land, it’s a bit harder in Leawood, Kansas.

Step 2

Start with your tallest item and place it in the center of your pots.

In this case, it is the Big Red Pussy Willow. It’s about 3 ft. tall and it gives a great grounding to the whole arrangement.

Step 3

I like to insert the branches that are most rigid. By height starting from tallest to shortest working inside out- In this case, it is the magnolia and the boxwood. And since I have fewer Magnolia branches I start with those.

Step 4

Adding more rigid stems- The Oregonia (Boxwoods). When picking your stems, look for interesting colors and textures. There are thousands of shades of green. Try using a wide variety of shades and interest. If you have a tall pine branch you can insert that in the center of the pussy willow as well. If not, use it to build around the other stems.

Step 5

Keep filling in, building from the inside out. Adding here cedar, keep going around your pot, looking for any holes.

Step 6

Here I add in my Pinecones and Pepper Berries. I do this last really covering any bare spots, additionally, the berry branches are fragile and you will end up with most of the berries on the ground starting too early.

Step 7

And Viola! Poof and fluff as needed, step back and admire, grab the last sip of your Coffee Toddy and don’t forget the dog!

And now onto the one-hour wreaths!

Happy Holidays to all!

Check out Part 2 of Holiday Pots and more holiday posts like Homegoods for the Holidays and  How to Entertain Like a Pro