We know, you’re ready for spruce top pot season.! It’s OK, we’re ready, too!
Check out the video for a step-by-step lesson to create your own beautiful winter designs. Below, learn more about each of the ingredients that come together to create delightful container recipes.
Windowboxes & Fresh Greens
SPOTLIGHT: WILT STOP
It’s the icing on the cake. Why save the best for last? Nah, we’ll do dessert first, thanks.
Can’t stop, won’t stop, cover it all in Wilt Stop! OK, not everything, but almost all evergreen things that come together to create a spruce top pot.
So, what is Wilt Stop and why do you want to use it? Glad you asked!
Wilt Stop is a natural pine resin that helps keep the moisture in the needles and leaves of your evergreen container. Spray evenly all the way around the container, but be careful not to overdo it. Too much will give the greens a milky, sticky appearance (bleh). This stuff is slightly sticky, so if you can avoid spraying any faux of non-evergreen material (berries, feathers, etc.) it’s best, but it won’t harm them. Avoid spraying broad leafed items such as magnolia and eucalyptus as the Wilt Stop can create a spotty look that shows up on large leaves but isn’t noticeable on small needle/leaf items.
Rice Hulls (the stuff you fill your pot with) are, well… the hulls of rice. We use rice hulls because they are lightweight, hold spruce tops and other materials snug, and they freeze nice and solid. This highly renewable resource can but added to the garden come spring to improve drainage and aeration while also improving water retention.
Each variety of fresh greens offers a different, beautiful look to winter containers. Beyond their appearance, though, it’s good to know what to expect from their performance when choosing your container’s ingredients.
Spruce tops – the main ingredient and the most reliable when it comes to staying green through the season.
Norway pine – excellent for skirting containers and the next most reliable ingredient for green longevity.
Leafy Bundles – There are several to choose from.
Magnolia has gorgeous green and velvety brown leaves and adds dimension and interest. The leaves turn bronze as the season wears on, but we don’t much mind.
Seeded Eucalyptus and Baby Eucalyptus have an unmatched blue hue. It will take on a dried look over time but not for a while, and it can be cut out if it starts looking grumpy.
Oregonia is a variegated boxwood, and the sturdy stems and bright, variegated leaves will last much of the season.
Cedars and Arborvitae – depending on variety, these can add variation in green coloring, drape, cute little seed heads for interest, and interesting texture. Cedar can brown more quickly in harsh conditions (wind and sun), but not until well into the new year, at which time they can just be cut off if they’re looking less than stellar.
Sticks and Poles – Add height and color with Dogwood (Red, Cardinal, or Yellow), Flame or Curly Willow, and Birch twigs and poles. These will last all season long and the Birch poles will even last a couple years, so save them for next season. The twigs will not last past one season, trust us. They turn a wretched color and take on a brittle texture. Don’t save them.
Pine Cones – You’ve got options! Sugar cones are the largest and have two-toned brown coloring. Jeffrey cones are more of a medium size and can be paired with sugar cones. If you’re looking for something a little less traditional we have white tipped cones and bleached cones, either create great contrast and stand out in spruce top pot containers.
Once you’ve assembled your pot with the basics and added some natural elements, it’s time to get creative and add the final embellishments. Berries galore, glittery branches, permanent leafy stems, antlers, feathers, and more are all available to create the container of your dreams.