Planter pots...is that what you would call them? Every year, I see social media flood with people's winter planters that they either put together themselves or bought, and I love them all. I've always thought I would love to make one but have been WAY too intimidated—I didn't even know where to start. I could go out in our grove and start clipping branches and picking up some sticks, maybe even spray painting a few of them. But I never did, and I felt if I put in the effort, I was sure it would not turn out how everyone else's on social media looked, which was absolutely delightful. They were all just perfect.
This year when talking about a holiday Lake Life Review, My envy overcame me and I asked Joy to contact Renee at Ferguson's to see if we could bring in our own pots and do their winter planter class. Renee graciously hosted us, and I was SO excited.
For this trip, we didn't have a #along. We just didn't ask anyone far enough in advance. So Joy, Tara and I headed with our pots to Ferguson's Garden Center to make our winter planters.
I was nervous. Renee had told us to bring around a 12 to 16-inch pot with us. My pot fits into my milk can, and it is maybe 8-inches at the most. So I was already scared I was breaking rules. But it was such a beautiful display last year when I bought it, I figured I could do it.
We walk into Ferguson's, Tara with the perfect size pot fitting Renee's dimensions, Joy with a gigantic pot, what would you say, maybe 20 inches? And then myself with an itty-bitty pot. Tara was yanking my chain, as we tend to do to each other, and was teasing me all the way to the door about my itty-bitty pot. I was planning on bringing in my can in later for pictures. Renee looks at me, smiles, and says we better get you a bigger pot. I knew it! I pled my case and Renee was retracted and thought it sounded cool, so I rushed out and brought in my milk can before anyone else could question my itty-bitty pot.
We were all getting situated. Barb and Bonnie were at the front, ready with their pots and ready to start instructing us how to make our three totally different sized pots into a picturesque winter planter when, Renee asks if Alex could join us. He works for Ferguson's and has never done a planter before and needs to learn. I got wide-eyed and said, "Can he be our #along?" We usually always get a #along to join us and this time we didn't. Renee said, "Of course!" Whoo-hoo!
Alex arrived and we introduced each other, and I gave him the run down of being a #along. He just smiled nicely; he never really answered me. Being in a room with all girls: Tara, Joy, Barb, Bonnie, Renee and myself, he just sheepishly smiles and looks to Barb and Bonnie to start. He stayed pretty quiet.
Let the instruction commence.
Here we go!!! Barb starts off telling us what we have at our stations. We had a bundle of spruce tips and a bundle of mixed greens. We learned spruce tips like the ones we had were actually little trees. They were probably two-years-old planted exactly for this use. The mixed greenery had a slew of different type of evergreen branches? Leaves? I remembered my notebook, but forgot a pen and I was having too much fun that some particulars may have been missed.
In the mixed green boughs, there were some cedar. I also think there was juniper with the little pollen beads and possibly even some cypress in there. It was just a slew of assorted Christmas Greenery. All wrapped up nicely for us to use.
Barb starts by placing in her spruce tips, explaining how you may need the pruning sheers to cut of the bottom pieces of the spruce tips so you can push them in deep. Keeping every little piece you cut off, you can use that later for making it look full. Then Barb started adding her mixed greens. Making sure she was conscious of which side was the front, she had her mixed greens pouring out of the front. She is just placing things, talking away and making a gorgeous display!
About this time, Bonnie was just silent and listening to what Barb was saying, but then suddenly she just started. I am not kidding you, in less than 5 minutes, Bonnie took all of her supplies and instantly
created a masterpiece. Take a look yourself. Isn't it gorgeous?
I couldn't help myself; I gave her a round of applause. She started the same as Barb, placing in her spruce tips and then moved to her mixed greenery. With her mixed greenery, she didn't have it spill out as much as Barb, she was placing all of her things going straight up, mixing them in with the spruce tips to add texture. Just by doing this, her's looked so different than Barb's. Barb's was looking gorgeous and Bonnie's was beautiful. Two different ways and two very successful outcomes.
Bonnie finished hers with some sparkle. Barb continued to show us how to add some accents. She had a red few stems of a red leaf plant or bush. She said these are actually pickled so they keep their color for a long time. She added in a birch stick and some pine cones. She asked if she should put a bow on it. Suddenly, there was a big YES from my right. HA! #along Alex speaks! She magically creates a bow that looks store bought, places on her planter and wah lah! Another applause. It was gorgeous! Just perfect.
They turned to us. Now it is our turn!
Here comes the nervous commentary of myself. Why do I talk all the time....and make funny faces, goodness! I have a itty-bitty pot and three spruce tips. I thought maybe I should donate one to the golaith pot of Joys, but Bonnie swooped in right away and said NO WAY. It will make your pot full and beautiful.
Because I have a shorter pot, Bonnie suggested I make a sprig a bit shorter. I cut it about in half. "Oh! Okay, wasn't thinking that short." I replied with "I ruined it already?" Bonnie chuckles and says "No. Stick it in your pot. It will be just fine and save your other half to use as fill."
Tara was noticing all the help I was getting from Bonnie and started protesting. I told her she was doing just fine on her own. Now, it was Bonnie's turn to nervously laugh. I reassured her its Tara and I's way. We need to heckle. Love that girl.
Bonnie and Barb had given us 3 spruce tips and a bundle of greens. Once we got those placed, they had some painted twigs in red or gold that we could add to our pot. They also had a few pine cones out for us to use as well.
The four of us, well five if you include my personal teacher, Bonnie, were busy pushing in sprigs and boughs, when Tara announces "I need to go....jussggech".....guissche....gshush....I have no clue how to spell it. What she means really is she wants to Boujee it up with some sparkle. Off to the shop we go.
You saw in Bonnie's that she had those berries and then the golden cups. These are just about a tenth of what is available for Boujeeing up your planter. I was attracted to these sparkling red balls, and some red bells on twigs, oh and the twigs that looked they had icicles. SO MANY OPTIONS. I personally just ended up with a birch pole. I mean...my pot is itty-bitty. Tara was questioning on how I was going to get that to push in my itty-bitty pot. I told her Barb had a mallet if I needed it. HA! Barb let me have the rest of her red leaved beautiness to add to my pot as well.
Tara couldn't help it, she got the sparkling red balls and birch pole. Joy added some red berries and #along Alex put a birch pole and a white plant looking thing. It was darling. He said to Renee "Slap a tag on it and sell it!" He's right! It looked AMAZING! That won't last long in their shop, he will get it sold in no time.
Tara was not satisfied with her pot. She didn't know what she needed. She had a natural-looking pine cone in there, and she finally said, "I think mine is missing the white tip pine cone." I had a white one in mine, so I said just trade it out. As I was standing back admiring all of our pots, Tara was making the switcheroo. Tara's pot was much taller than mine. So I had cut my pine cone short. But it still worked for her. Tara was waving her pine cone to me and Barb was right there. I said Barb would do it. Tara said "Of course she will, did you do any part of your planter." I rebuttaled, "Yes....I sure did! Guided by Bonnie, Barb, you, maybe even #along Alex and a suggestion or two from a customer that was passing through." It takes a village to help me!
All of our pots turned out so good. I am addicted. Although I haven't made another one yet. I think about it a lot, even dreamt about it. I will be back! I am going to make more. I was so excited about it I ran into a friend and told her about what we had created and she said, "I am going there tomorrow for the class with three pots!!!" She shared her finished pieces after her and her little girl made them. Once again, I don't think you can go wrong. It was gorgeous.
If you are planning on taking the class, the spruce tips, greenery bundle and a birch pole is what is included. And from there, you can add anything that is in the shop at the cost labeled on the piece. Barb, Bonnie and maybe even Alex, will show you how it is done and then they let you loose. I highly recommend taking the class. They have everything you need there and the mess stays there as well! You just get to bring home your gorgeous masterpiece!
Ferguson's Garden Center has classes open to anyone. You can also do private parties. Get a group of your friends, or maybe a holiday party for your business. Anything goes, just call them up at the shop, and see what times they have available
If you have room, I wouldn't mind being part of your party!