First year making winter evergreen containers, have ?'s

Passion4Gardening(5)October 12, 2011

It's a little early, but thought I would ask for help with design advice and pricing help for making winter evergreen containers. Several clients of mine have asked for winter containers already.

Do you have a favorite winter container combination?

How are you pricing your containers?

Any advice on putting the containers together?

I'll be contacting local christmas tree farmers for prices on evergreen tips and bales this week. I have already started drying hydrangea blooms, seed pods and sedum stems.

Where do you get your red twig dogwood stems, winterberry stems?

Thanks in advance for your help!

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bboy(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

This is USDA 5, right?

    Bookmark   October 12, 2011 at 9:32PM
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Yes, USDA 5. Western Michigan.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2011 at 7:29AM
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Sherwood Botsford(3a)

If there is lumbering in your area, that is a good source for evergreen tips.

Walk the field ditches for grasses. If it goes big, plant patches of perennial grass. Doesn't take much of a patch to provide a lot of seed head bouquets.

Dogwood normally is found on the edge of poplar stands here, or near the edges of sloughs. It's another one that is easy to grow if you have a patch of moist soil. Cut to the ground every two years if you want straight stems. Prune knee high if you want branched stems.

Cattails are another easily harvested one, but it's too late this year. (November) You want to get the heads before they dry enough to fall apart. If they are marginal, spray with hair spray. Catch them just as the rushes are turning brown.

Teasles are another interested dried seed head. Note they are considered noxious weeds in some areas.

If you are wreath making, you may be able to preserve fall leaves by using a plant press, then spraying them with a mix of glycerin and a carrier. Either water, or alchohol. You will need to experiment. Depending on your use you may want some curl.

Lot of this stuff is available in bulk from floral wholesalers, but after looking at their prices you may want to harvest for them instead of buying from them.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2011 at 1:18PM
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Thanks for all the information Sherwood. I didn't find any lumber mills in my area, but there are plenty of Christmas tree farmers though. I was able to buy 40 pound bales of white pine, blue spruce, concolor and fraser fir for roughly $15 a bale. They trim off the bottom foot of branches before selling them so they fit in the stands. I found red twig dogwood and winterberry growing on a farmers land near a pond. He sold me a truckload of both for only $20. The winter arrangements were fun to make and sold really well.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 11:53AM
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