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Holiday Greens Planter

In a terracotta pot ringed in ribbon, "plant" an attractive array of evergreens and berries found on a walk through the woods (or at your local florist) for a festive, frugal outdoor decoration to greet Christmas visitors at the door!


Materials and Equipment:

  • a large plastic bag or several sheets of newspaper
  • one terracotta plant pot*, size of your choice, with a drainage hole
  • several handfuls of gravel
  • potting soil, enough to fill the pot
  • ten or more evergreen branches such as cedar, pine, etc.
  • four or five branches with winter berries such as holly, rosehips, snowberries, etc.
  • several yards of dried raffia (available at most craft centers)
  • two to three yards of festive ribbon (ribbon should be 2-3 inches wide and long enough to tie around your planter and form a bow)
  • ornaments (optional)

* If you live in an area with frequent winter frosts, choose a "faux" terracotta pot. These plastic pots are cleverly designed to look like terracotta and, because they are synthetic, they will not crack due to frost. They are very convincing frauds and are available at most garden centers.



  1. Create this project outdoors or clear a table and cover it with newspaper or a large garbage bag.
  2. Be sure your terracotta pot is clean and dry before starting. Place a layer of gravel on the bottom of the pot, covering the bottom until you can no longer see it (about a one inch layer). This helps facilitate drainage in case you want to plant flowers in the pot next spring.
  3. Fill the pot with soil. Stop when there is still an inch left between the soil and the top lip of the pot.
  4. Remove a few inches of greenery from the lowest part of each evergreen and berry-laden branch. This part will be stuck into the soil and should be bare of all leaves.
  5. Stick evergreen branches into the soil to a depth that allows them to stand upright unassisted.
  6. Stick berry-laden branches into the soil in the same fashion, placing them between the evergreens.
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  8. Wrap ribbon around the top lip of the top lip of the pot and tie it into a bow. Ribbon with wire in it works very nicely to create a three-dimensional bow.
  9. Weave raffia in and out of the branches.
  10. If you like, add a few ornaments to the branches. Make sure to place your planter in a sheltered location. Do not water your planter, as it will only cause the stems of the greenery to rot.
  11. Place the planter by your front door to greet your guests, or on a patio where you can see it.

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