DIY Winter Hanging Basket

It takes just 15-20 minutes to make a hanging basket that will look great throughout the long months of cold and snow!
Altogether I have quite a few containers I like to fill each fall, so I try to forage as much as possible from the yard and the adjacent woodlot. I harvest responsibly, pruning branches carefully, so that I never damage the trees or shrubs I am cutting.
In the shady part of the garden, I am lucky to have quite a number of yews. Every fall they get a good haircut which leaves me with quite a bit of raw material for my winter arrangements. But even with the yew, I don't have quite enough evergreen bows to fill all my containers, so I also buy mixed bunches of pine, fur, boxwood, oregonia and cedar at the grocery store.
Once upon a time Magnolia leaves were one of the pricy winter container options, but for the last few years Walmart has had them available for a very reasonable cost. So I buy a few magnolia branches as well. Magnolia leaves have those soft, suede-like undersides that warm up all the other greens.
For a holiday look, I like to add some fruit and berries to my baskets for a little color. In the garden I forage rose hips, crabapples and euonymus berries. From the store, I purchase western red cedar, with its little brown rosettes, blue juniper berries and incense cedar, with its golden buds.
Here's how I put my hanging baskets together:
Step 1: The baskets that hang on our front porch are actual brown twig baskets. If you don't have a woven basket like this, a traditional plastic hanging basket would work just as well.
Fill your hanging basket with potting soil (if you don't have a hanging basket that is already filled with soil). The only purpose of the soil is to secure your evergreens in the pot.
Step 2: As with any good containers planting, use "spillers, fillers and thrillers" to create a nice arrangement of greenery and berries.
Begin with the "spillers" that will drape down over the edges of your basket. For this I suggest long pieces of cedar and pine. Both evergreens have soft stems that allow them to hang down gracefully over the rim of the basket.
Step 3: Next it's on to the "fillers" that will give the arrangement the fullness you want.
For this, you can use almost any type of evergreen. I used pieces of boxwood, yew, spruce, noble fur, yew, oregonia (the variegated leaf you see above) and the magnolia leaves.
At the end of step 3, the basket has filled out nicely.
Step 4: The final step is to add some colourful accents with assorted fruit and berries. If you don't have crabapples or rose hips, you can substitute with red winter berries, which are readily available at a variety of stores and nurseries. If you can't find winter berries or they're too expensive, faux-berries would work just as nicely.
As well as the two hanging baskets on the front porch, I also fill the wire baskets in the back garden.
It looks so much nicer than leaving them empty all winter!
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Have a question about this project?

1 question
  • Connie
    on Nov 26, 2016

    Beautiful. How long will it look fresh?

    • Eileen Ripp
      Eileen Ripp
      on Dec 27, 2017

      I have the luxury of "trimming" some of the greenery in the yard and surrounding areas so I am careful to cut greens that have held their color already. Some turn a little yellow green [especially pine] early so just beware that your choices are good to start and then will hold their color throughout the season.

Join the conversation

2 of 5 comments
  • Three Dogs in a Garden
    Three Dogs in a Garden
    on Feb 17, 2017

    Thanks so much! I particularly like the baskets I made for my front porch. They've held up pretty well and make the drab winter months seem a bit greener. Over on the blog you can find some illuminated wreaths I made as well. That was another fun project. (See my archives for December 2016)

  • Sal28430892
    on Aug 9, 2017

    love in new orleans

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