There are planters to be filled, window boxes to be trimmed, and doorways to be draped. Laura Szyjka, a floral garden designer with Rocco Fiore & Sons, shares some of her secrets for creating beautiful outdoor vignettes.
There are many tricks of the trade in the landscape business. But when it comes to building the perfect holiday planter, the rules are pretty basic. “You need a thrill, a fill, and a spill,” says Laura Szyjka, a floral designer with Rocco Fiore & Sons. “The thrill is your center. You want to get some height to your container—like a spruce top. Your fill will be a mixture of some silver fir, Frasier fir, and spruce branches. Then your spill will be some incense-cedar, arborvitae, and white pine,” she says. “Remember to always start in the center and work your way out. And be sure to keep the pull of gravity in mind. Avoid placing the cut branches straight up in the container, but arange them the way branches would naturally flow.”
Laura encourages do-it-yourselfers not to be bound by tradition. “The possibilities for your outdoor décor are limitless. It’s great to let your imagination run,” she adds.
Laura’s Holiday Planter Tips:
Don’t feel compelled to stick with the traditional reds and greens in your planters. Blue seeded eucalyptus provides a gorgeous holiday hue that lasts long after the season’s festivities have ended, well into spring.
Boxwood (or something like it) is your friend. If you’re looking for an economical option, consider using boxwood as your center. Then as the seasons change, you can switch out the accent flowers you plant with it. Or, if your center is a live boxwood or spruce, the shrub can be replanted in your yard when the holidays are over.
When filling a window box, be sure it looks as engaging from the inside as it does from the out. “I make sure that whatever we fill the boxes with doesn’t come up too high—you don’t want to lose the view from your window,” Laura says.
Repurpose what Mother Nature has given you, like the trimmings from a white birch tree. Or, use okra and artichokes as an alternative to holly or winterberry branches for its unexpected flair and added texture.
If you would like Laura Szyjka to help you create the perfect holiday planters for your home, call her at 847-680-1207.
–Ann Marie Scheidler