Step 1: Go Shopping!
Spring is a tough time of year to keep outdoor planters looking fresh because of the inconsistent weather and short bloom periods. The first decision to be made is if artificial flowers will be used, real flowers, or a combination of both. Once this decision has been made, the real planning can begin. Craft stores are wonderful sources for artificial flowers. Now, usually artificial flowers are usually not recommended because they lack realistic texture and color. Believe me, I am not a big fan, but be selective and and choose only the most realistic. If real flowers are being used, I recommend you begin staging the flower bloom so there is color all the time. A shopping list should contain a tall center piece item, an intermediate height item, and a low filler at the very least. This will help achieve a beautiful layered look.
Step 2: Remove Winter Decor
Grab a garbage can and throw away that winter decor because spring is here! Of course, throw away all live branches, but keep any other artificial items as they may come in use later. Hopefully, there is dirt left in the container. This will make arranging items much easier. If no dirt is available, try using a foam block to stick artificial branches in. Later on it can be covered up with moss or another low filler.
Step 3: Add the center piece
Find a center piece that fits the scale of the planter. It can be an iron garden statue, a bundle of artificial flowers, or a combination of flowers and an accent bird house or garden ornament. Make it your own! Keep in mind how the planter is viewed. Is it seen from all sides or just the front half?
Step 4: Begin to add several layers of color and texture. Don't forget to take the time to fluff up the artificial flower branches. Cut the stems of artificial flowers to achieve a variance in height for a natural look.
Step 5: Once the primary items have been placed begin to add the filler and pop in an accent piece. The filler can be an artificial green shrubbery with a complimentary texture or try using moss. The filler helps cover the soil for a finished look and provides a back drop for the flower color to pop. In this example we allowed the filler to flow over the sides of the planter. We chose a single Hydrangea flower as the accent piece.
Step 6: Continue to work towards a beautiful full container. A decorative bunch of branches can be used to fill any void space. The curly branches in this photo are being re purposed from the prior winter planters. Finally, add a little holiday cheer! Easter egg garland was cut and wrapped around the center piece for another pop of color.