Landscape Design

The holidays are here, and it’s time to try your custom arrangement skills on for size. For those unfamiliar, this is the art of using flowers, ornaments, and plant material to create a display that conveys meaning and beauty. If that resonates with you, then perhaps a holiday urn is your latest and greatest project. Holiday urns create a festive welcome for those visiting your home over the holidays, and can effortlessly jazz up any front entrance.

How To Decorate An Outdoor Urn For Christmas

Consider Your Choice of Urn or Container

Tall urns are a classic choice, but there are also a myriad of container choices out there depending on the look you’re trying to achieve. Before getting started, think about the aesthetic you’re going for – do you prefer a vintage or a more classic look? For example, if it’s a farmhouse aesthetic you’re after, consider using a vintage milk tin or a galvanized bucket.

Something else to consider is the size of your container. Is it at the right scale for the space it’s located in? Also, if the holiday arrangement is to be sitting in a spot that’s exposed to the elements, potentially rain or snow, you might want to choose a water-resistant material for your container.

Prep Your Container

Before kickstarting the fun part of the process, you have to first prepare your container to protect it against the elements. Fill the bottom quarter of your container with sand, limestone, or gravel – which will help prevent it from being tipped over. Next, fill the container up with your soil of choice.

Now it’s time to start decorating! The first step is to stick the tallest pieces, your deciduous branches, into the soil. This creates structure for your arrangement ahead of adding in the evergreen boughs.

What Elements Go into A Holiday Urn?

Evergreen Branches: The main branches (also called boughs) of spruce, cedar, pine, or fir is one of the main elements that makes up a holiday urn. They’re like an evergreen canvas for you to create your art on.

Pine Cones: These curious pine seed protectors add texture and color contrast to the evergreen boughs. Mature pine cones generally fall to the ground late fall and early winter, so it’s a common element seen in nature throughout the holiday season.

Deciduous Branches: The different types of bark will provide contrast to the evergreen branches that you’re using, as well as add textures and patterns. There’s the option to use just the branches, or incorporate some leaves as well. For example, magnolia leaves are among the most popular of options to add to a holiday urn composition.

Berried Branches: The red, blue, or white characteristic of berried branches are essential to bringing festive pops of color to your holiday urn. Think holly, rosehips, or winterberry. Juniper branches are a great option as well, some species having red or blue berries.

Other Natural Accents:
While the above elements are the classic materials needed to put together your holiday urn, consider also adding dried leaves and flowers such as eucalyptus, hydrangeas, or lotus pods.

Bells and Bows: On top of all the natural elements, bells and ribbons tied into bows are two ways to add a finishing touch to your holiday creation.

Complement Your Filler With Thrillers and Spillers

One of the pro tips of container gardening design is the “filler, thriller, and spiller” method. It suggests that great designs start with a ‘filler,’ plants that cover the soil, and ends with a ‘spiller’ – plant material that cascades over the container’s edge.

Don’t miss the ‘thriller,’ which is the centerpiece of your holiday urn. For example, a taller plant that stands out in terms of color and form.

With four locations across Northwest Arkansas, Westwood Gardens is a family-run nursery and garden center. Come visit us to pick up some Christmas elements for your home crafted holiday urn project.  

Up your gardening game.

Sign up for our twice-monthly newsletter with expert gardening tips and stay up to date on what’s in season in NWA. 

  • Gardening Pro Tips
  • Updates on What's In Season
  • Specials & Events
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.