Last year when we downsized, we got rid of a lot of household contents including our cast iron urns and large pots, so when it came to looking for a container to put on our new front porch we headed to the farm. In our barn, Mario ran across an old copper boiler and suggested I use it - every once in a while he has a good idea - LOL! While we were at the farm we collected fresh Cedar, Fir and Pine boughs along with Red Dogwood branches and White Birch branches that had fallen on the forest floor. We brought it all back to our wee house in town to assemble. I'm quite happy with the finished tub. Scroll down to see the step-by-steps.
Here is my process: 1. Choose your container 2. Gather all your supplies and tools (I am guilty of starting my project and then remembering that I didn't bring my garden gloves or shears) 3. Put weights or something heavy in the bottom of container (I used bricks). 4. Place white birch branches at the bottom of container and stuff green floral foam all around and in the cavities. You'll notice that I also used wood scraps and sometimes I've used newspaper to stuff into the container. I didn't have a lot of floral foam on hand so I just used what I had (and saved some $$ too). Make sure you have enough floral foam spread around so you can poke the evergreen boughs into it. (I added more floral foam after I took the photo below).
5. Start adding fresh evergreens starting with sturdy Fir boughs at the back of planter. I use Fir boughs for the back of the container because they stand up nicely and don't flop over - they act as the foundation for the other fresh evergreens that will go in front of them. 6. Add fresh Cedar boughs in front of the larger Fir branches. With my pruning shears, I cut a variety of sizes of cedar pieces and stuff them into the pot trying to catch some of the floral foam so they stay put.
7. Continue adding evergreens and lastly the Pine boughs at the front of the planter. Remember to stand back from time to time to look at the container from all angles. I like to add the Pine boughs at the end. They are lovely and delicate and spill nicely over the edge of the tub. If you want any pine to stand up in the middle of the container, just make sure you choose a sturdy branch and secure it by poking it into the floral foam. Sometimes I do that but not in this planter.
8. Select a bunch of Dogwood branches and cut them all about the same height. Stick them temporarily in the container so you can adjust the height before cutting the branches to desired lengths. Poke the branches into the pot so they catch the floral foam. Put some in front and back and middle and arrange them so they look like they're fanning out. I also used 5 orange Willow branches that a friend gave me - you may be able to notice that they stand out slightly from the red branches. Don't forget that you can save the Dogwood and Willow branches for next year. Their colour stays true for many years if stored away from sunlight.
9. Decorate with festive balls or other trims. This is where you can make it your own. You can choose a color or a theme to work with and even festoon it with lights. I won't add lights to ours but we'll shine a floodlight on it so it can be seen at night. Have fun decorating!!
To see a cast iron urn that I decorated for the Holidays a few years ago, you can click HERE.