Gardening Life

Gardening Life
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Photo by Michael Graydon
Arrangement by Sheridan Nurseries

Designing a winter urn

Decorating a winter urn can be a fun and occassionally complicated affair. We've laid out the best way to tackle arranging basics with the help of Amin Datoo of Sheridan Nurseries

**1. Create the base** Building your urn starts with the soil. You can use the soil from your summer plantings or replace it with a block of floral oasis. One year, our editor used construction sand—no mess and easy to poke branches into. If you're going to use soil, don't forget that it freezes; you need to build an arrangement in he urn before the temperature drops. **Tip:** Craft your masterpiece in a separate fibre pot that fits in the urn, so you can swap it with another one at whim. **2. Select your greenery** Use evergreen branches such as pine, cedar or fir to build a skirt (like a tutu!) around the rim of your urn, remembering that these boughs represent the widest part of your arrangement.

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**3. Add height.** Choose long, bare branches that are between one-and-a-half and two-and-a-half times the height of your urn. Here we chose redtwig dogwood for its seasonal appeal but willow and myrtle branches are also lovely. **4. Round it out.** Working from the middle of your urn, build upward using taller evergreen branches. Continue working outward toward the skirt. We used lodgepole pine for spiky texture, boxwood branches for soft round leaves and more cedar for added greenery. **5. Add a personal touch.** For our traditional arrangement, we dressed things up with dried pomegranates, rosehips, a large pine cone and a rustic birdhouse. Try adding lemons or oranges—in the cold weather they should last up to two months. Keep your creation fresh with water and a little misting until temperatures hit the freezing mark. **Tip:** Attach heavier ornaments to long barbecue skewers or bamboo sticks and place into arrangement separately.

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