Gardening is an all-season event

Discover Stouffville Blog

In Canada the longest season is winter, yet the majority of households do not decorate their front porch for the winter season. Your front porch is a reflection of those who are in your home, and what you celebrate during the winter season. If you never have decorated your front porch with winter planters, give it a try and see how nature boosts your mood even during short winter days.

With high-demand and not enough experts to customize winter urns the last few years, you are likely going to have a do-it-yourself project this November. Do not fear, I am here to break down what you need to impress the neighbours and even the professionals!

The anatomy of any DIY decorative winter planter is very simple:




A “thriller” is something that will be a centrepiece. For winter urns, branches and birch poles are traditionally used to get height in the centre of your pots.  It is preference if you choose natural versus sparkly, dyed branches. Some people want to add a different level of height to their planter design. For example you will see planters with additional oregonia, red huck, and even dried eucalyptus.

A “spiller” is anything that will hang over the edges of your pot. You will plant these closest to the lip of your pot. Classic spillers are different types of ivy plants during the summer, however in the winter you will see us using pine branches to hang over urns.  Some people also layer different types of fresh greens, to get a fuller fancier appearance such as Carolina blue sapphire, and gold tip cedar.

And finally the “filler” part of your planters. These are the branches that will fill in the space in between you thrillers and spillers. If you have a very large pot you might be able to get two layers of fillers. This is the area of winter urns where people have the most fun! You can use different varieties of fir, and cedar in this section of the planter. You will also see magnolia leaves, holly, and other dried items such as palm caps, berries, and different types and sizes of cones used. Really, the options are endless depending on your budget.

There is a little secret to why our winter urns last ALL winter and don’t brown. I personally do not change out my winter urns until I’m ready to make my spring planters because they still look beautiful. We use a special spray on ALL our winter planters. Come visit our location and ask the staff at Tree Valley what we use to preserve the life of our winter urns. Please also share your DIY urns on social media and tag us @treevalleygardencentre. We love to see the communities creativity!

Seasonal winter items start to arrive in November. Follow us on social media @treevalleygardencentre or Shop Local Stouffville for important announcements.

Finally, the family and staff at Tree Valley wish you a safe and healthy winter holiday season! We hope that you discover the pleasure of decorative winter urns at your home.


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