Window boxes aren't just for spring and summer -- they can also brighten the look of your house in the winter. Include your window boxes in your Christmas decorating plans. Not only will your home look more festive with brimming, colourful window boxes rather than empty sills, cleaning out the boxes to receive the Christmas decorations will help keep mould, mildew and pests from overwintering in stale soil.
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Things you need
- Floral foam
- Potted rosemary tree topiary, 6-inch pot (or size to fit in window box)
- 2 potted trailing ivy plants, 6-inch pots (or size to fit in window box)
- Evergreen cuttings (pine, fir, balsam, holly)
- 2 pre-made bows with streamers, 2-inch wide red plastic
- Christmas-themed floral picks (berries, poinsettias), in pairs
- Florist wire
- Wire cutters
Put the potted rosemary in the centre of the window box. Cut a slab of floral foam and put it under the pot, if necessary, to raise the top of the pot to within 1 inch of the top of the window box.
Place a potted ivy plant halfway between the rosemary pot and the end of the window box. Cut a slab of floral foam and put it under the pot, if necessary, to raise the top of the pot to within 1 inch of the top of the window box. Repeat with the other pot of ivy on the other side of the window box. Adjust the ivy so that it "spills" down the front of the window box.
Pack floral foam tightly around and between the potted plants until the window box is full to within 1 inch of the top.
Push the evergreen cuttings down into the floral foam until they are firmly seated. Cover the foam around the potted plants. Push some of the cuttings in perpendicular to the surface of the foam; they should not be as tall as the rosemary plant. Push some of the cuttings in at an angle so that they will overhang the front of the window box. Adjust the ivy sprays so that they're on top of the evergreens.
Cut an 18-inch length of florist wire and bend it in half. Thread the wire through the middle a pre-made bow until the bow reaches the bend in the wire; twist the wire together twice to secure the bow in a wire loop. Stick the ends of the wire all the way into the foam halfway between the rosemary and an ivy plant. Adjust the streamers so that they flow down the front of the window box. Repeat with other bow.
Stick half of the floral picks ½ inch into the foam between the rosemary and one side of the window box. Rearrange the picks until you have a pleasing configuration, then stick the picks firmly into the foam. Repeat with the remaining picks on the other side of the window box, making sure the arrangement is symmetrical with the first side.
Tips and warnings
- Remove old plants and soil from the window box before you decorate it. Hose out the loose soil and turn box upside-down to dry.
- Add outdoor Christmas lights to your window box for more sparkle. Wrap them around the rosemary tree, wind them loosely through the evergreen boughs or loop garlands of lights around the rim of the box.
- For a longer-lasting display, treat the evergreen cuttings with anti-desiccant before using them.
- If December's weather is below freezing in your part of the world, substituted a small, artificial Christmas tree for the rosemary topiary and use artificial ivy.
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