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Weekly Gardening Tips for Your Area


Plant a Tiny Winter Forest

Martha Stewart
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Create a miniature winter forest to enjoy all year long by potting low-maintenance dwarf conifers.

A tiny winter forest.Everyone loves evergreens this time of year, when their vibrant color pops against gray winter skies. Dwarf selections of the majestic trees, clustered in pots on a patio table or in a window box, can bring a bit of life to your home after summer blooms have faded. For containers, select cultivars that are one zone colder than your region. Plant them in soil with good drainage, top-dress with mulch, and don’t let them dry out. If the temperature drops below 20°F, move them temporarily to an unheated, sheltered spot, such as a garage. If they outgrow their pots after several years, you can plant them in the yard, and they’ll stay green season after season.

You Will Need:

  • Window box
  • Landscape fabric or pottery shard
  • Potting soil
  • Silvery-blue conifers in mixed shapes and textures:
  • Tsuga canadensis ‘Jervis’
  • Picea glauca ‘Jean’s Dilly’
  • Chamaecyparis pisifera ‘Blue Moon’
  • Juniperus squamata ‘Blue Carpet’
  • J. squamata ‘Blue Star’
  • J. horizontalis ‘Blue Pygmy’
  • Cedrus deodara ‘Prostrate Beauty’

Winter Forest How-To

  1. Check the window box for drainage holes, then cover the holes with a piece of landscape fabric or a pottery shard to contain the potting soil.
  2. Fill the window box ¾ full with potting soil.
  3. Remove plants from plastic nursery pots and arrange on top of soil.
  4. Fill in around the plants with more potting soil, firming it down around the base of the plants as you go.
  5. Water thoroughly and set securely on a windowsill. A sheltered windowsill provides protection from the elements.
  6. For extra holiday cheer, decorate the display with miniature ornaments.


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