Use plastic, concrete or iron containers for these arrangements, since ceramics may crack from the cold, especially where moisture is involved. Insert a small bucket or jug into the garden container and fill with water. Place the boughs and berry branches inside. The water will likely freeze, keeping the boughs in place and preserving their stems for longer-lasting greenery. On mild days, the boughs will be able to drink from this well. In the arrangement above, oversized cones from California's sugar pine mingle with hot-pink king proteas from South Africa, scarlet native winterberries, cedar boughs and Scotch pine branches. Fasciated willow gives the arrangement height.
Country goes upscale as green apples and pears are tucked in among magnolia leaves and gold-tipped cedar under a fountain of yellow dogwood twigs. Faux fruit, which is used here, is longer lasting and easier to secure to the arrangement. For the best effect, group the fruit into bunches and layer the foliage for volume.
A brilliant red container plays host to winterberries, magnolia leaves, fasciated willow and a traditional mix of pine and fir branches with California sugar pinecones tucked in.
This sturdy concrete vessel holds a mixture of boxwood boughs, winterberry sprigs, thin birch logs for contrast and red dogwood twigs for height. Nestled into the boxwood is a glass lantern with a candle.
(photos by Canadian Gardening Life magazine)