I love changing out my containers for the seasons.  After many years of doing this sort of thing for clients on a large-scale, it is nice to just do one or two around my own house — I can play and experiment in a way that isn’t always possible when the arrangement has to meet schedules and bear the brunt of sitting street-side in an urban setting.

Spring container arrangements are the shortest lived of the container plantings (closely followed by fall) so there are a few tricks to keep the change out simple.

Pro Tip# 1 Do not bother to take the potted bulbs out of their container.

This is a waste of time when you are planting it up and it makes the mess of dismantling it more difficult as well.  You are going to do this in just a few short weeks so you may as well help yourself out.   I got my bulbs from Lowes and rest of the materials came from my garden.   This is the fun of working on a project in your own garden — everything has possibility.

Here is how I started…

With some extra potting soil, I raised the dirt height from last season (this will go to good use when I plant for summer).  I made the height just right so that when I set the bulb pots in the container the tops were a couple inches above the height of the container.

Pro Tip # 2  Don’t assume that the soil level has to be below the edge of the pot.  Mound it up for more interesting design options!

It is my preference to  let the full plant show — it helps with scale and it gives lots of opportunity to add other elements around the base.

Once the containers were in place I filled around them with potting soil (mounding it over the pots) and covered it with moss that I gathered from the woods.  Pouring water over it and wetting the moss into place secures the dirt and the moss together.   This is what it looked like (apologies for not taking pictures before — I got ahead of myself — but I think you can figure out how to get here).

Spring container planter tuplis and forsythia rochelle greayer www.pithandvigor.com

Pro Tip # 3 Treat your container plantings like a living floral arrangement.  Don’t be afraid to add clipped flowers to enhance the plants.

I snipped a branch of forsythia that is in full bloom, dismantled it into short pieces and added it to the composition to jazz it up a bit.  But I think it still needs something.
Spring container planter tuplis and forsythia rochelle greayer www.pithandvigor.com

Pro Tip # 3 Use what you have on hand in your garden or what you can find in nature to add extra embellishment.

I grabbed a few rocks laying in the garden to give a little more releif….layering them under the moss.   My Pieris (andromeda) is also in full bloom so I clipped a few sprays of blooms to add a new texture, and I just shoved them into the damp soil through the moss.  They will keep for as long as the tulips last (and if not, it takes 20 seconds to clip some fresh blooms and refresh – or change it up with something else that has come into flower).

Spring container planter tuplis and forsythia rochelle greayer www.pithandvigor.com

You may disagree, but I think it still needed a little something more….so I took another walk through the garden.  I have a bed that hasn’t yet received its spring cleaning and there are a few patches of Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ still standing with their dried flower heads.  That they are kinda the same color as the tulips was a perfect reason to add them to my arrangement.
Spring container planter tuplis and forsythia rochelle greayer www.pithandvigor.com
This is what I came up with … an easy mix of garden clippings and potted Tulips.   What do you have blooming or looking interesting in your garden that might pair nicely with spring bulbs? — I really am curious…I need a little inspiration. 😉

And don’t forget — plant the bulbs in your garden when you take this apart.   It isn’t true that forced bulbs will never bloom again….they may need a year or two to recover and get back into their natural groove….but they will come back — I have a garden full of daffodils discarded from commercial projects to prove it!

Images: Rochelle Greayer

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Lowes.  This is a series that I am doing for the next 9 months.  Once a month, they give me the cash for materials and a theme and I work out a DIY that hopefully we can all use.  I’m really looking forward to the challenge! I am not an employee of Lowes and all opinions are my own. If you want to see more, check out last month’s project – DIY Terracotta Plant Markers.  



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