Have you ever wanted to splurge on one of those gorgeous full and fragrant Christmas urns that you see at the front door of the quaint little shops in your hometown? If you have ever potted a plant then you are probably able to create one of these for yourself. This is the time of year when garden centre’s offer free workshops and sometimes even how to videos on their websites to entice you into their stores.

Get yourself signed up for the newsletter of your local garden centres website and look for their open house or workshop announcements. Remove the existing flowers from your pots but leave the old dirt in there and soften it up with some water or move your pots to the garage so it doesn’t freeze solid. Pack a pair of gardening gloves, a plastic bag and your pruning shears in the trunk of your car. While running your usual errands in and out of town keep your eyes open for colorful dogwood branches, pine boughs, pine cones, and berries that may be growing wild in the ditches on the sides of the country roads. Gather some of these materials (without trespassing of course) for use in your urn. I love to use hydrangea heads from my garden. They can be painted with silver or gold paint if you’d like or leave them natural.

Once you’ve attended the workshop you can decide what materials you need to purchase and combine them with the ones you’ve already collected to create a made-by-you masterpiece. Add a little sparkle, a grouping of 3 inexpensive plastic ornaments wired together and tied to a branch, a big bow, or some twinkle lights for the Christmas season. Be sure not to stab them into the dirt if you wish to remove them from your arrangement once Christmas is over. They may be frozen in!

Water your arrangement often until it freezes for the winter. If it’s still warm or your pot is in a sunny spot the greenery will turn brown quickly, so timing is everything. If you can’t plant right away because of the warmer weather, place the ends of the greenery into a water bucket in your garage to keep them fresh until you’re ready to work with them.

Get ready for the compliments that are going to be coming your way when guests arrive for your Christmas gatherings and find out you made them yourself!

Connon Nurseries