Were someone to ask me to name my most favorite winter pots ever, no doubt this pair would immediately come to mind. These varnished Belgian oak boxes put together with precisely spaced countersunk screws quietly remind me of a double breasted band uniform replete with brass buttons; dignified and all put together. The noble fir and douglas fir greens are generous and wide. The pale bleached willow sticks have a collar of natural stick stacks that have absorbed moisture from the air, and arched over-naturally. These pots have the most fabulously artless hairdos. Bottlebrush snowflakes hang here and there. Just enough structure meets weathering natural material. The good proportions of top to bottom please me.
Though I personally have a mind to fend off the winter vigorously, I am lucky to have clients who do not mind the stillness of the winter season. They tell me: quiet, please. Represent me softly-naturally. Douglas fir and boxwood make such a great mix. A few stems of acrylic pussy willow adds just a little sparkle to the red twig.
Intermittent snow in December dusts everything with white. This is beautiful winter weather-not the hit you over the head winter that is to come. The winter sculpture in this pair of pots demands nothing and expresses everything of a world gone silent.
This client refurbished her front door in brushed stainless steel at my recommendation. This very contemporary Francesca del Re pot, and its winter dress, simply expresses the colors and shapes of her season. The color echoes what already exists in her hydrangeas and yews.
Big window boxes can speak softly, despite their size. Brushy, with pale accents-this is a choice. My recommendation? Decide in advance the feeling you wish to convey, and choose the materials accordingly. Accidents of nature are sometimes astonishingly good-other times, not so good. If I can spot what has gone wrong, chances are it can be fixed. Sometimes I have to see to know.
This pair of English stoneware pots from the Hode Pottery are frostproof-no need to bring them in. The simple trivet stands reveal the shape of the pots from top to bottom. A pot with a base larger than its opening benefits from a treatment like this. Twigs, cones and boxwood make for a dressy, not noisy display.
Growing boxwood in pots is not easy. They need attention all year round. They may need watering in a January thaw, and by March, regular water. The rootball of a well-grown boxwood is not much smaller than the top. They will only prosper in pots large enough to give their roots room to grow. Pots this size are much better filled with cut boxwood stuffed into a foam form. All the beauty of boxwood without so much responsibility.
I like everything about nature’s palette. The blues and greys of the stone, steel and snow. Twig, stem and leaf brown, with a dash of evergreen. What I see here is just enough celebration to take the chill off.