Spruce Tips 101

Spruce Tips can be easily arranged yourself for winter decor.

As soon as the pumpkins of Halloween are heading to the dump, the Spruce Tips are filling up their spot in the outside garden area of your local store. Before the dirt freezes, it’s time to get your outside pots all pretty for the holiday season!

For my outside pots this year, I’m bringing new meaning to the term “trash to treasure”…

Old metal garbage cans become industrial garden pots.

Yep, I’ve been hoarding old metal garbage cans while curbside junking. I’ve wanted to turn these old garbage cans into industrial flower pots for awhile, and this winter season it’s time to give it a try!

Instead of filling these huge containers up with dirt, I put upside down plastic flower pots in them to fill up the space. I then topped off above with potting soil. Less dirt and less heavy;)

Now to fill them with lots of wintertime goodness!

Once you’ve purchased your spruce tips, open your bundle(s) and organize them by size, tallest to shortest. Give them a good shake also, to separate the needles from being squished together.

Arrange your spruce tips by size.

Take note if some of them have a nice spire at the top, or if some are more mangled looking, so you can arrange accordingly.

Before placing them in the dirt, clip off the bottom branches (about 4-5″) so they will stick in securely.

Snip off bottom 5" of branches from spruce tips.

Don’t discard these scraps, though. They can be used for other extra pretty outside!

Arrange your spruce tips in your planter. I usually begin with the center and work my way out. For these large garbage cans, I purchased a taller branch for the center to give more overall height and then arranged the other tips around. Usually an odd number work best. Arrange the tips standing straight; they will bend once they get a layer of snow on them.

Spruce tips pots for the winter season.

If you have other greens in different varieties, clip them and add. I like to clip our White Pine trees and add their feathery, long needles for softness. I add them mostly around the base to soften the transition.

White Pine branches.

Spruce Tips arranged in an old metal garbage can.

Before adding any more decoration, now is the time to add lights if you desire. I love the nighttime glow of my pots all lit up when the blanket of winter snow is covering everything. I try to disguise the wires as much as possible, but once we get a dusting of snow, they blend right in.

Place the lights on your spruce tips before any other decorations.

Now you can add all the fun decorations you can come up with, depending on your style. I like natural items from my garden: hydrangea, sedum, red-twigged dogwood, black seed heads. Pinecones and feathers are a nice addition, too. Last year I featured black and white houndstooth ribbon and some silver leaves I’d purchased. { “Porch Decorating Fun”} This year, I’ve picked up some cute scarves and am going to try a “wintertime fun” theme.

But I can’t quite show you yet, because I still need to get the rest of the greens in my other pots done before the dirt freezes! You can always add the decor items later…just get the greens in the dirt now (and it’s much easier to put the lights on before your fingers freeze off). Stay tuned for how all the outside decor will come together;)

Remember all those scraps I clipped off from the bottoms of the tips? I like to tuck them here and there to add extra seasonal prettiness to all my “regular” yard items.

Spruce Tips scraps can be used for more decoration.

I add them to my birdbaths and top them off with a vintage birdcage. I’ll add a candle or glass candleholder to the center for special.

Add extra greens to the base of a bird bath.

My vintage galvanized watering cans get arranged with winter bouquets to set around the porch.

Vintage galvanized watering cans

Vintage galvanized watering cans with winter arrangements.

Vintage watering cans with wintertime arrangements.

Galvanized watering cans filled with winter bouquets

I purchased the pretty golden cedar with the spruce tips, but all the rest of the foliage came from my garden! Even after their prime, garden flowers can be enjoyed for a whole new season in a whole new way!

And what do you think about my new roadside table treasure I happened across today? Always gotta keep an eye at the curb, right? Trying to figure out where I can enjoy this sturdy, little cutie. It worked great as a driveway work table today! It’s already earned it’s keep;)

So make a plan to get your spruce tips this weekend and get started on your pots before that dirt freezes! I’m going to keep decorating the outside before that first winter storm hits!

Spruce Tips 101 and beyond.


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13 thoughts on “Spruce Tips 101

  1. Very clever way to use those old garbage cans! When someone sees the car/ van screech to a halt & that kind of treasure being loaded up, sure more than a few eyebrows get raised—😊. If only they knew! Thanks for the inspiration !

    Liked by 1 person

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