Decorative winter urns are quite ubiquitous in Canada this time of year, where the season is long, cold and often colourless. Many homes here in Toronto have entrances that are flanked by urns filled with winter greens, branches, berries and ornaments to bring some holiday cheer to the landscape. It's always exciting to see the various designs. Creating the arrangement is quite simple to do and the effect is long-lasting and merry, making the project well worth the effort.
Start with a wide-mouthed urn. This will allow for greater surface area. Fill the urn with earth and then begin to plug it full of cut branches. Cedar, white pine, balsam, spruce and boxwood are good choices for the greenery. You can also use magnolia boughs for texture and colour and, for fragrance, sprigs of eucalyptus. Think horizontally and vertically, creating a wide base with fanned-out greens and then building upwards, considering height and dimension. The most attractive winter urns are pyramid in shape, echoing the silhouettes of Christmas trees. Decorative elements can include ribbon, pinecones, Christmas ornaments, artificial fruit, dried flowers and silk flowers. Here is an excellent how-to with easy step-by-step instructions and advice on what materials to use. I've collected some of my favourite and most-inspiring images of winter urns to share with you, below. Many are from Canadian Gardening magazine and Canadian House & Home magazine.