Garden Dilemmas, Delights & Discoveries, Ask Mary Stone, New Jersey Garden blog

Winter Decorating with Roadside Finds

Winter Decorating with Road Kill, decorating Winter Pots

Hello fellow readers,

Busted! My buddy Paulette from Blairstown, NJ, caught me picking up the “roadkill” the other day. My philosophy is if you can’t find all that you need in your digs, there’s nothing wrong with a little roadside cleanup. Roadkill is Paulette’s witty description of wintry finds, such as the white pine branches she caught me carrying down the road. She went on to share another spot where she snagged downed branches. Glad to know I’m not the only one, but please, no pilfering on other’s properties without permission. That’s a tongue twister!

Decorating with “Roadkill” – aka Roadside Finds 

It’s fun to add a festive wintery touch to your window boxes and outdoor pots, which will carry you through to spring. They are one of my favorite potted gardens to prepare. It reminds me of going on a scavenger hunt as a kid, plus the plant material is free. Adding greenery to your inside holiday décor is lovely too.

White Pine mixed with Spruce or Hemlock branches serve as a perfect first layer for your pots or window boxes. If you have open wire boxes like mine, you can use ornamental grasses cut from your garden or the loose moss on rocks to create a nest on which to nestle the branches. While not the optimum time for pruning, I save part of the task to use berry-laden holly as my next layer.

Harvest and arrange other finds such as dried hydrangea flowers, butterfly bush branches with intense new growth that look like starbursts, clippings from your shrubs with berries, and anything else that tickles your fancy. Hydrangea flowers were scarce this year due to last winter’s one-two punch, so pinecones are also a stylish choice. Or, if you wish to add some glam, there are nifty outdoor ornaments you can use that look like the shiny glass Christmas tree balls from way back when. Pretty.

Getting back to your roadside finds. Yesterday Ellie kept sniffing my branches as we walked home. It occurred to me that perhaps another canine had marked them as his own. Note to self; roadkill may be best as outside decorations only.

A winter window box decorated with holly with red berries, white pine branches, dry ornamental grasses, and red and white Christmas balls.

Decorating with Road Kill – aka Roadside Finds

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Mary Stone, owner of Stone Associates Landscape Design & Consulting. As a Landscape Designer, I am grateful for the joy of helping others beautify their surroundings which often leads to sharing encouragement and life experiences. These relationships inspired my weekly column published in THE PRESS, 'Garden Dilemmas? Ask Mary', began in 2012. I dream of growing the evolving community of readers into an interactive forum to share encouragement and support in Garden and Personal Recoveries - seeking nature’s inspirations, stimulating growth, weeding undesirables, embracing the unexpected. Thank you for visiting! Mary

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