‘Tis the season to get crafty + support agriculture! Since about 1850, Christmas trees have been sold in the United States. According to Minnesota Grown, Minnesota has about 56 growers throughout the state growing Christmas trees. A lot has changed since 1850, including ways to incorporate the beautiful greenery in your holiday decor. From garland to wreaths, trees to porch pots, you can find the greenery used in many different ways.
As you’re shopping this month, you’ll likely see many holiday pots for purchase in tree lots and various stores. But if you’re someone that wants to be able to customize the pot and make it your own, we’ve got the how-to directions and photo inspirations to get you on the right track!
Let’s start with the materials:
Here’s what you need to get started. All these materials were found at local tree lots/farms and craft stores around the Twin Cities. If you’d like to find them at a local tree farm, locate one near you here. If there isn’t one near you, or a tree lot set up, you can find the greenery at Menards or some local grocery stores as well.
What you need:
Spruce tops – these will serve as the backbone of your pot
Mix of various other greenery: evergreen, cypress, cedar, pine
Any extra greenery you’d like to include, I used winter juniper and dogwood branches
A birch log (if desired)
Various additional decorations that aren’t greenery (if desired)
A pot to design in
Let’s get building:
Step 1: Grab the pot that you selected. This can be as big or as small of a pot as you’d like! Keep in mind if you choose a larger pot you will need more materials to make the pot look full. You also can use stuff around your home or farm if you’d like. Think galvanized tins or buckets, leftover spring pots, pails, etc. Fill the pot about 3/4 full of soil as pictured below.
Step 2: Starting with the spruce tops, grab the first piece you like. Fluff out the branches. With the pruner, cut off the little branches about 4 inches up from the bottom of the branch as shown below. Cut a chunk off the end of the bare branch as well so it’s able to take up water from the soil. Cutting these smaller branches off will allow you to stick the pieces into the soil either. Repeat this process with 2-3 spruce tops or however many you would prefer.
Step 3: After you place 2-3 spruce tops towards the back of your pot, if you have one, place your birch log toward the middle of the pot. Once that is placed, grab some of the evergreen branches and begin to fill the holes in your spruce tops. Once the bigger branches are placed, grab some more soil and put it into the pot. Pack the soil around the bigger branches and birch log to secure them in place as shown below.
Step 4: Once the additional soil is added to the pot, and your larger pieces are secure in the soil, begin to take some of your smaller greenery pieces and adding them to the front and sides of the pot. In this pot, I took the cedar, cypress, winter juniper, and pine and layered them into the front and sides to make the pot look full.
Step 5: After you’re happy with how your greenery looks, add in the extras! For this pot I bought dogwood branches, faux poinsettias, frosted pinecones, faux winter berries, pampas grass, and some various other picks to place in my design. Continue to add pieces until you’re happy with the final design! All of the faux items can be kept and used again next year.
Many of our volunteers have made porch pots already this holiday season! Check out their pots for some more inspiration for your own!
Sarah Kern – Designed four holiday pots with rustic elements and beautiful galvanized tins
Bekah Gustafson – Designed a beautiful porch set up! She cut greenery from trees around her farm, and added some berries and bows that she already had at home from decorations she has accumulated over the years. Her set-up has sentimental ties, with the tree being put up by her daughters as it belonged to her husband’s grandmother who passed away around this time last year. The sleds and toboggan were things she found around at her in-law’s and their farm.