Winter Curb Appeal – A Fun Project to Enjoy All Season

I want to wish all my readers a Happy New Year! It has been a busy couple of months. Please check out the new page I have posted on the 2011 Christmas Tour in which I participated. This was sponsored by The Wyndham Garden Club in central Virginia as a fundraiser for their projects. It was well attended, and they will be making it an annual event.

The house looks so festive at Christmas time, but when the decorations come down it's nice to have something to replace them with to cheer things up for the rest of the winter.

I am always looking for ways to cheer up the deck and doorways in the winter months. Things can be so drab after the summer flowers are gone, and the Christmas decorations have all been put away. I have a remedy sure to bring a smile, and brighten things up for not only the winter but the early spring as well.

Once the annuals have bitten the dust and been discarded, empty the old potting soil from your pots into your garden bed. It will help to improve the soil there, and each season of flowers should receive fresh soil when in pots. Next, with a 5 to 1 solution of water to bleach, scrub out your pots and let them dry in the sun. This will keep diseases from getting started or passed on from reusing the pots.

Closeup of a pot filled with daffodil bulbs, then topped with boxwood branches. It will look fresh through the winter, then beautiful with bulbs in the spring.

Now we are ready for the fun to begin. Using a deep pot with drainage holes, fill with potting soil up to 6″ below the rim. (If you live in a cold climate it’s best to use a resin pot for this project because of freezing issues.) Flatten out the soil and add a layer of daffodil bulbs. These can be placed closer together than you would ordinarily place them if you were to put them in the garden. I usually leave only about 2″ of space between. Try to fit in a dozen or more depending on the size of your pot. Next, fill the pot the rest of the way with additional potting soil, and water really well. These are going to sprout next spring for a beautiful show, but in the meantime (from now through March), I like to create what I call “instant plants” on top. To do this I trim boughs from my boxwoods and junipers, then simply fill the pot with the trimmings. I like mine to look realistic, like miniature boxwood bushes, or juniper bushes using single types of foliage in the pots, but a mix of greens looks gorgeous, too. Simply push the stems of the boughs into the damp soil. The soil will hold them in place and they will last for months outside. If you haven’t gotten rain, give them a watering each week.

I like to place a really large pot next to each of the doorways and smaller versions on the iron baker’s rack, plant stands, the patio table, and even the window boxes get filled with these “instant plants”.

When the winter starts to break, you will notice the bulbs pushing their new growth to surface. This is when you need to pull out the boughs and discard (carefully so you won’t disturb the new growth), and then you will be rewarded with a second season of beauty as the bulbs bloom!

I hope you will try this project, it can be done with crocuses or tulips as well. Enjoy!

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