A Winter Wonder Garden: Creating containers with colorful foliage

Download your own DIY Winter Wonder project instructional sheet!

On a recent trip to New York City, my husband and I noticed a lot of plant containers with only shrubs in them. These arrangements were basically all foliage with no symmetry and not a single bloom!

Strolling up and down Madison Avenue, the intriguing containers definitely caught our eye!

For this reason, I have decided to try my hand at this style of planting during the winter months.

Follow these steps to create a Winter Wonder container garden:

Step 1: Choose your container.

We chose one in a beautiful blue glaze. This color will brighten up any entryway while maintaining the cool, blue hues of a winter color scheme.

*Tip: You can also use your current container, but make sure that you do not remove all of the soil. Leave half of the old soil in the container and then fill it in with a mixture of fresh soil and 1 cup of sand. This will allow proper drainage.

Step 2: Next, turn some empty plant pots upside-down and place them in the bottom of the container and fill the remaining space with soil. Make sure to leave a few inches of space in the top of the container.

Step 3: Arrange your plants.

*Tip: Before placing your plants, make sure to loosen all of the root balls with your fingers.

•  Place 'Green Giant' Arborvitae in the back at the far left corner.

•  To its right, place Obsession™ Nandina.

•  In the front, place Purple Pixie® Loropetalum.

Step 4: Use soil to fill in the empty hole. For added fun and texture, incorporate pine cones into the arrangement.

*Tip: For extra sparkle, add silver snowflake decorations.

This container garden is extremely low maintenance.

•  It only needs to be watered once a week until it is established.

•  Water once every two weeks in the winter and three times a week during warmer days.

•  Every 6-8 weeks, use a liquid feed.

The plants in this container garden should last at least two years before they need a new home in the ground, and they can handle sun or shade!

The cold is no excuse to put off planting. Spring will be here before you know it— so get a jump start and get your green thumb in gear!


  • Obsession™ Nandina
  • Purple Pixie® Loropetalum
  • 'Green Giant' Arborvitae
  • Attractive Container
  • Soil and Sand