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12.04.2014 admin
Having been in the container garden business in the spring, summer, and fall for many years, it only took one simple stray thought to entertain the notion of planting pots for the winter. I have seen lovely containers planted with dwarf evergreens, but live plants in pots are problematic in Michigan winters.
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Choosing plants for containers and window boxes is such fun; there are so many creative possibilities! TIP: Be sure that your boxes have drainage holes drilled or poked through before you plant them. If your boxes get at least two hours of direct sun, even if it's in the early morning or late afternoon, your shade plants will flower better.
A mix of plants that flower and those that have colorful foliage makes for an attractive box.
TIP: When you water your window boxes be sure to run the hose for a few minutes to clear any sun-heated water out first.
Some pots had just the right depth of soil, once the fall plants were removed.  Others needed a little topping up.
Each of the white tallow berry picks in this centerpiece came to us packed flat in a box.  It is so much easier to fluff out a wired pick in the garage, than outdoors.

My landscape crew does an incredible job of it-better than I could.  All their years planting means they have a feeling for how the cut stems should look in a winter pot.
What else will go in these greens to to be determined.  It could be the large leaved German boxwood.
Here Proven Winners plants including Snow Princess Alyssum, Diamond Frost Euphorbia, Sky Blue Lobelia, and Bubblegum Pink Supertunias are used with pink geraniums. In this box a variegated, upright fuchsia is used in the center flaked in the back by Encanto Orange Begonias. If you use a mix of a time-release fertilizer such as Osmocote, and an organic fertilizer such as Flower-Tone, your plants will be well nourished all summer. White petunias, Sutera and Lobelia are almost covering the three dwarf boxwood plants that were in the box all winter. These French boxes, the history of the manufacture of which dates back hundreds of years, are very dear to my heart. If you pots are on the small side, you may not have room to put together an interesting collection of plants. In the front of the box dark blue Lobelia and yellow Calibrachoa almost overwhelm the variegated ivy. This box also contains purple Supertunias, Heliotrope, Calibrachoa, and variegated Plectranthus. This is not to say that we do not do more contemporary pots that are more about design generated by the human hand than nature.

If we set a big centerpiece through the greens foam, we will have to go back and stick individual evergreen branches around that centerpiece to soften the transition from the horizontal plane to the vertical plane. A group of evergreen plants do not grow up and into each other over the winter that will culminate in a gorgeous arrangement. If possible, sneak your hose or can spout under the foliage so that you’re watering the soil and not the plants. I would rather fend off the dark and dreary in whatever way I could.  This garland gets set on an army of cardboard boxes, so the work is at a convenient height. Containers filled with lights are an alternative form of landscape lighting, especially designed to avert the dark that comes early and stays long. Mugho pines and boxwood can be hardy in pots, if the weather and water conditions are just right. What you casually insert into a winter container on a calm November day may not hold up in the snow and wind of January. Planting pots for winter is an entirely different way of gardening, but it is gardening nonetheless. For unusual greens, cut boxwood, German boxwood, berried juniper, Port Orford cedar, and countless other specialty greens are available for purchase.

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