Winter Pots with a Twist


Container gardening has been a popular gardening choice in recent years starting first with annuals, then expanding  into vegetables, and has most recently “spilled-over” (pun intended) into a year-round entity with the addition of winter porch pots.

Deluxe Berries and Branches Porch Pot Kit2

The reports we run in our business and the industry information we stay abreast of points out that this is the direction that Christmas and Winter decorating is headed. I love that we have the opportunity to put 100% focus into this season and product line. It affords us the time to really get creative and lead the movement in setting the trends.

Speaking of trends, succulents are showing up EVERYWHERE lately, from gardens to bridal bouquets. Their unique color and texture create a unique one-of-a-kind look. It doesn’t hurt, either, that they are easy to care for and don’t mind if you forget to water them!

While I don’t pretend to be an expert on succulents, I am aware that there are cold-hardy varieties that can withstand cold winter temperatures. This sets the stage for an innovative approach to winter pots for the 2016-2017 season.

So, let’s have some fun! Start with a pot that can withstand freezing temperatures and fill it with soil. Create a focal point in the center of your pot with taller greens such as spruce tops and then fill around it by planting a colorful selection of winter hardy succulents. Keep in mind the “thriller, filler, spiller” recipe as you add traditional winter greenery and succulents so you have a thrilling center, a filling middle, and greens and succelents that spill over the edge of the pot. Your winter pot will come to life in an array of color and texture!


Place your winter pot where it can be enjoyed all winter long both when you are outdoors and also when you are looking through the window when staying warm inside. It will add color and beauty to porches, patios, and other places in your yard. Then, when you are ready for your spring yard clean-up, simply remove the fresh cut greenery from the pots and recycle them (see ideas for recycling  your greenery in our FUTURE IS FRESH blog post). As for the succulents, you can leave them in the pots and add other plants if you wish or relocate them from the pots to somewhere else in your landscape.

If you try a winter pot with a succulent twist during the upcoming Christmas and Winter season, please upload it to social media and add #mmwintergreensinc to share with us  your beautiful creations! We want to see them!


The Future is Fresh

10 Reasons Future is Fresh Photo

Happy 2016 everyone! Now, I realize that it is almost March but it took me until now to stop writing “2015” every time I had to put a date on something! So technically, that must mean 2016 is still relatively fresh and new and so is this post.  I was very excited to read so many articles lately stating several things that I already know to be true, especially when it comes to Christmas/winter greenery.  So, without further adieu, here are ten reasons why “The Future is Fresh.”

Reason #1: Nature is “In”


Nature gives us some of the best decorations around and these items have recently become even more embraced as simple, chic, trendy, and timeless. A recent article by Ian Baldwin in Greenhouse Grower magazine that highlighted the 2015 selling season at garden retailers stated, “Feedback from our networks and clients was of strong and consistent traffic across all regions, demographics and store sizes. Fresh was “in” everywhere — fresh cut trees, greens, roping, and wreaths, the bigger the better, and the more unique the better in all categories. Customized wreath-making stations were selling them as quickly as they could be made. Where buyers could find them, re-orders sold out on cut greens, wreaths and outdoor “porch pots.” You certainly can’t argue with sales statistics and  you can read more of that article HERE.

Reason #2: It Helps to Keep it Real


In some later points, I will delve into more detail about the positive aspects of fresh greenery. Right now, I want to focus on some of the downsides of artificial. For starters, did you know that in the 1930’s, the Addis Brush Company created the first artificial-brush style Christmas trees? What is so special about this? They used the same machinery that made their main product…..toilet brushes! So, if you plan on decorating an artificial tree this coming season… can reflect on its origins as an over-sized green toilet brush. Besides its bathroom beginnings, there are many other hazards (such as lead) when it comes to these artificial decorations. You can read more about those hazards and even see some visuals right HERE.

Reason #3: It Promotes “Welltality”


The horticulture industry is intrinsically tied to health and wellness. There is a surge in interest for individuals to maintain a healthy lifestyle and plants are definitely a big part of that. The 2016 Garden Trends Report goes into more details about this but the basics are a link between nature and plants and healthy humans. Being in nature actually reduces stress…studies have proven this fact.

If the mental image of a toilet brush Christmas tree wasn’t convincing enough, this different article goes into plenty of detail as to the health benefits of choosing fresh natural Christmas trees. For those interested in healthy edibles, this article goes into details about edible evergreens, pine needle tea, Douglas Fir smoothies, and more. My own disclaimer…..I am NOT promoting that you indulge in eating or drinking evergreens and/or their derivatives. At least not without consulting a medical professional first. My point is this…..fresh = healthy (and it also doesn’t hurt that it is on trend).

Reason #4: There is a Shift from “Doing” to “Making”


Ever heard of a “Yuccie”? Wikipedia says, “Yuccie, an acronym for “young urban creatives”, refers to a self-aware young adult who holds dearly to one’s creative autonomy, but at the same time being savvy about prestige and materialistic success.” They are the “cultural offspring of “yuppies” and “hipsters”.

So what does that really mean? These are individuals that want to get their hands dirty in nature making things…not just to make them, but to engage with experiences. Things like growing hops to brew their own beer, and use vegetables to create natural dye. The cost for these “making” experiences are immaterial to them as long as they get the end result they are after. Decorating with fresh evergreens in ways that set them apart from others….where they can get their hands in it and the end result is social media worthy (aka today’s status symbol measuring stick) definitely holds appeal for the growing trend of Yuccies.

Reason #5: The Destination is Outside


Buzzwords such as “outdoor living” and “garden-tainment” showcase that the outdoors are an extension of the indoor living space. Home designers create “flow” that connects the rooms inside to the “rooms” outside seamlessly. The 2016 Garden Trends Report states that this year, the outdoors is coming across strong as a destination.

When the weather turns colder in some climates, and you can’t frequent those outdoor living spaces as much, the movement of bringing elements of the great outdoors back inside helps to bridge that gap. That is where fresh greenery, pine cones, birch logs, winterberry, branches, and more come into play. It invokes a sense of being outside while being inside and it plays to all the senses.

Reason #6: It has Sustainable Functions


Everyone knows that Eco-Friendly is a big deal these days. Did you know that fresh Christmas and winter decorations are twice as Eco-Friendly?  What I mean is on the front end, harvesting methods are good for the environment. Trees are not cut down for the decorations, it’s more like the trees get a haircut which keeps them healthy and promotes growth. Those trimmings are then used for making swags, wreaths, and other decorations. Some individuals are even willing to pay more for things that they know have sustainable origins as this article states. To them, it is worth the extra it costs them, because it is important to them.

When the consumer is finished with their fresh evergreen decorations, there are all sorts of uses for them that benefit the environment rather than pile up in a landfill for decades (or centuries). This article provides ideas for recycling evergreen tree needles, and this article tells you how to recycle your fresh evergreen tree in your garden. Those that love to help the wildlife will enjoy suggestions given in this article.  If you have a garden or landscape beds, this article explains how evergreen needles are good for your garden and this article shares why pine cones make good mulch. Finally, for more Eco-Friendly holiday ideas, check out this article.


Reason #7: The Shift is Becoming Seasonal


No, I don’t mean the great debate of whether to say “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays”, I mean the trend is shifting towards decorations that can be put out in November and stay out through the winter months too. This article, from the Zillow blog, talks about this topic and it is one that is not just for those selling their homes. It’s for everyone and it spells out that, “The first place you should go [when decorating] is outside.” Incorporating fresh greenery is integral in decorating for a season instead of a holiday.

Consumers today are being targeted about Christmas in September, according to this USA Today article. That marketing combined with the faster-paced , time-crunched world that we all live in sets the stage for finding ways to decorate earlier and enjoy it longer. Since the world around us is a whirlwind of busy, it’s also calming to have simple, natural elements decorating our homes. I love the ideas given in this article by professional home stagers.

Reason #8: The Holidays are Nostalgic


As I look at this photo, I see several ornaments that I recall being on the Christmas tree at my grandparents’ house. Seeing these invoke feelings of nostalgia for me.  Nostalgia is defined as, “a sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations.” This article has a great question and answer about the science of nostalgia and it especially discusses its ties to the holidays.

Reason #9: It has Sensory Appeal


Reason #8 lends itself nicely with Reason #9. Fresh evergreens appeal to all the senses, not just one or two. The more senses things appeal to, the stronger those feelings of nostalgia can be. For myself, having spent over half my life around “Christmas Greens”, I can actually tell the difference between some of the greens just by the way they smell. Not to mention, I can’t help but smell those candles that are supposed to smell like pine, and scoff because they are NOT. EVEN. CLOSE. to the real deal.

I discovered two great articles, this one and this one that have some great ways to use and capture the natural scent of fresh evergreens. I’m sure you can come up with a wide variety of ways to use these ideas. If marketing is one of them, I suggest reading this to learn more about the science behind the senses.

Reason #10: Because Social Popularity Says So


We are a world driven by social media. Tweets, posts, likes, and more, we are always connected and always sharing with most of it being very visual. If you Google “Christmas Home Tours”, countless images will pop up with most every single one showing some form of fresh greenery and other natural elements being used as a decoration. Fresh and natural items are just visually more appealing than there faux counterparts, plain and simple.


And….plain and simple is where it is at these days….and where it is going. The Future is Fresh…..embrace it.

Crazy for Cones

Pine Cones by Böhringer Friedrich.

Lately, it seems like pine cones are my personal go-to home decor staple. It’s not just because we sell a lot of sizes, styles, and colors either. That is just a perk that makes it easier for me to get my hands on them and scatter them around my home! A few on the mantel, a few in a vase…you get the idea.

Pine Cones in Vase
Pine Cones in Vase
Source: (Centsational Style Blog)

Not to mention that when your 3rd grader has science homework about the seeds of coniferous trees…you have a 3-D, hands-on model right at your fingertips (true story).

Anyway, the reality is pine cones are like the “little black dress” of the wardrobe. It’s a staple that looks great all by itself but can take on a variety of looks depending on the accessories it’s paired with. It’s extremely versatile and complements any style.

Beautiful Pine Cone Decor
Beautiful Pine Cone Decor Source: Pinterest and

Besides a home decor staple, pine cones are a craft staple as well! From camps to classrooms, nature’s gift is creativity’s base to endless ideas. Glue, glitter, paint, birdseed…the mediums are limited only by your imagination.

Speaking of imagination, I’m going to inspire  yours with some links to year-round visual “cone-tinual” goodies. And these are just a few of the many, many ideas for pine cones. Enjoy!

January: Penguin Pine Cones or Skiing Snowman Pine Cone

February: Pine Cone Valentines Wreath or Valentine Cones in Vase

March: Shamrock Cones

April: Pine Cone Carrot Wreath

May: Pine Cone Flowers

June: Pine Cone Bee

July: Patriotic Pine Cones

August: Pineapple Pine Cones

September: Wedding Pine Cone Bouquet or Pine Cone Placeholders

October: Pine Cone Owls

November: Pine Cone Turkeys or Pine Cone Votive Holders

December: Pine Cone Trees or Pine Cone Ornaments

Shades of is HOT!

Shades of Grey Image Credit Thinkstock

I find it ironic that one of the hot color trends for Christmas/Winter 2015-2016 just so happens to tie in nicely with the release of the movie “50 Shades of Grey”. It allows me to play into all the pop culture hype right now to grab your attention for my first real blog post.

So, did it work? Did I get your attention? Good!

This post has nothing to do with the movie and everything to do with shades of the color grey mixed with a pop of red. Much like the ad done so cleverly by OPI…

OPI 50 Shades of Grey
OPI 50 Shades of Grey

Grey is the new “black” and when accented with sparkling silver and bright cherry red, it’s a wonderful color scheme. Grey is the neutral that provides the base for the red hue to “pop” visually. Of course it goes without saying that this color scheme is perfect when combined with fresh greenery in a porch pot, wreath, swag, or more.

Do you want some examples of what I am talking about? How about

Curly Ting - Black Glitter Container Fillers
Curly Ting – Black Glitter
Container Fillers

Curly Ting in Black Glitter paired with:

Red Glitter Lata Balls Container Fillers
Red Glitter Lata Balls
Container Fillers

Lata or Vine Balls in Red Glitter or:

Red Glitter Birch Branches Branches - Hardgoods
Red Glitter Birch Branches
Branches – Hardgoods

Birch Branches in Red Glitter combined with:

Silver Glitter Lata Balls Container Fillers
Silver Glitter Lata Balls
Container Fillers

Lata or Vine Balls in Silver Glitter.

Do you get the idea? Of course you can use Redtwig Dogwood, Winterberry, Faux Berry Sprays in Red, Silver, Black, Grey…..the options are endless!

And, if you are wondering like I was if it is “Grey” or “Gray”…the answer is it can be both! Typically “Gray” is the American spelling and “Grey” is the Engish spelling (think “A” for American or “E” for English) but the word can be spelled either way.

Stay tuned as I will share more about upcoming trends for this year. I hope you enjoyed this blog post….let me know what you think! Thanks!

Blog Coming Soon!

Hello and Welcome to Our Blog!

We often have a lot to say and share and we decided a blog is the perfect way to do that! As our website is going through some hefty renovations, we felt that a blog would be a nice feature to connect with our website and provide a way to share more ideas, inspiration, and so on. Stay tuned for more details…..some exciting things are coming soon!

~Shannon Kuhrt (M&M Wintergreens Inc.)