How To Decorate Outdoor Window Boxes For Winter

by Suzan Ferreira
How To Decorate Outdoor Window Boxes For Winter closeup of bluebird eating red berry in winter on decorated urn

Taking the time to decorate the window boxes in late fall with greenery lays the foundation for holiday arrangements, feeds the birds, and brings enjoyment throughout the fall & winter months. Learning how to decorate window boxes for fall and winter to create beautiful texture is not difficult, but will guarantee visual enjoyment throughout the seasons.

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Nothing brings more joy than to look out the window on a cold & blustery day and see green in the outdoor window boxes. Greenery to be specific. Seeing a little green layered under the snow brings a smile to this avid gardener’s face.

In the past, a LOT of time was spent decorating the outdoor hangers for every season. As the chores on the hill grew more labor-intensive, the less time was available for making my space(s) pretty. How could the window boxes still be enjoyed, adapted to each “season” or holiday easily without needing to start from scratch? By building a strong foundation 🙂 .

How To Decorate Outdoor Hangers For Winter image of greenery in rod iron urn


Decorating your window boxes, urns, or containers with a “foundation” of greens is a great way to create a template that can easily be adapted to any holiday.

  • Fall Theme – Add a few small mum plants, fall miscanthus blooms, dried wheat, or ornamental cabbage to transform your foundation into the fall.
  • Halloween – Add some ghoul to your foundation of greens for Halloween with the addition of spider webs, witches, or maybe even a skeleton or two.
  • Thanksgiving – With a few simple additions of small gourds or pumpkins, dried flowers or seed pods, & pine cones your greenery foundation will brim with Thanksgiving spirit.
  • Christmas – Nothing speaks more to the holiday spirit than an outdoor window box or an urn filled with greenery, red berries and possibly a few fairie lights to set it all off.


We are fortunate here on the hill to have access to sustainably forage all the greens needed to create the foundation for our fall & winter decorating.

How To Decorate Outdoor Hangers For Winter harvesting greenery the sustainable way

Our favorite greens to forage? Here are a few we find in our area or grow on our property. Many of these evergreens and plants can be purchased at local nurseries should you not have local access to forage sustainably.

  • Hemlock – The favorite backdrop & filler used here on the hill. The needles are full, branched, and varied green in color.
  • Pine – Another favorite filler. This long-needled evergreen has an airy feel and is a wonderful filler for other evergreens and textures. Pine is a long-lasting choice with great needled retention. TIP: if foraging sustainably, be sure to wear gloves…pine pitch creates a sticky mess that is difficult to remove from hands.
  • Holly – Classic dark green or variegated leaves with red berries create a wonderful contrast to evergreen foundations. Leaves are prickly…be sure to wear gloves.
  • Boxwood – Small to medium-sized leaves make a wonderful contrast to long-needled evergreens. Leaves will brown and drop somewhat when exposed to cold temperatures.
  • Balsam Fir – Wonderfully fragrant, common component of outdoor arrangements here in NE. Balsams tend toward flat greenery with darker top and underside a lighter green.
  • Blue Spruce – An amazing addition if you can find it (rarely is it sold) with its beautiful blue/grey color.
  • Juniper – A favorite addition here on the hill. Easily sourced at nurseries selling holiday greens or foraged sustainably. This greyish/blue, sharply needled plant has wonderful complimentary berries that are bluish/grey as well along with a woody uniquely colored bark.
  • Winterberry – Natural winterberry is of the holly family and loses its leaves in the colder temperatures leaving wonderful stemmed berries to add to your arrangements. Another favorite on the hill when it’s been a good growing season and are found aplenty. TIP: Birds are attracted to arrangements with winterberry & love to eat the berries all winter long 🙂 .


Forage or purchase your evergreens and filler additions. Get more than you think you need. Invariably, we need to make a second trip to gather more supplies & evergreens. Err on the side of caution and gather a LOT. If foraging, be sure to leave a good 5-8 inches of stem. This will be pushed into the soil firmly to create your arrangement.

How To Decorate Outdoor Hangers For Winter example of filled hanging wall planter from summer growth

Prepare your containers by removing any remaining plant material from your hangers and urns. This can be a painful process if your containers remain beautiful from summers growth. Take consolation, if you live in a cold climate like NE, they are short-lived anyhow 🙂 .

Empty the container of any soil that has dense roots as it will make it difficult to push the stems of the evergreens into the soil. Add additional soil to fill the containers which allow the stem to have firm purchase and hold steady during the harsh winter months.

How To Decorate Outdoor Hangers For Winter image of empty wall hangers ready to be filled with greenery

Should your containers be similar, additional sustainably harvested moss or purchased moss is added around the top of the rim and filled into any areas that need it, as shown above. I like to use my leftover sphagnum moss that I use for storing carrots and other root vegetables for this job.

Begin filling your containers. To decorate outdoor window boxes that are adhered to the wall, begin to fill the back (nearest the wall) first and work your way out. I like to add my hemlock branches first as shown below. Don’t be afraid to angle the branches so that it gives the hanger dimension.

How To Decorate Outdoor Hangers For Winter beginning stages of adding greenery to outdoor wall hangers

Decorate your outdoor urns a bit differently, starting with a tall, well filled out piece in the center of the urn and then working your way out in the same manner as the wall hangings.

Begin filling and adding hemlock and other greens to give texture and dimension. Don’t be afraid to really overfill the container with evergreens. The more the marrier where outdoor hangers are concerned!

How To Decorate Outdoor Hangers For Winter closeup of wall hangers filled with greenery

Once the containers are filled with your evergreens, begin tucking in and adding any other additions such as juniper, winterberry, or even attractively shaped sticks.

How To Decorate Outdoor Hangers For Winter rod iron wall hanging filled with natural greenery

There you have it! It couldn’t be any easier to build the foundation of decorating your outdoor window boxes for fall & winter. Have you found time-saving methods of decorating your outdoor spaces, window boxes, or urns? Love to hear from you by joining the conversation below!

Be sure to follow IMSL on all social media channels for further tips, tutorials, & happenings!

Love, Light, & Laughter ~

Signature of Suzan from It's My Sustainable Life
How To Decorate Outdoor Window Boxes For Winter pinnable image for Pinterest

This article was featured on Busy Monday, Thursday Favorite Things, AND Farm Fresh Tuesdays!

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Linda Primmer November 20, 2022 - 7:18 pm

They are all very pretty Suzan. I am hoping my husband builds one for the tiny cottage. I am pleased to feature your post on Sunday at Love Your Creativity.

Pam November 19, 2020 - 2:12 pm

I love love love this! Thanks so much for sharing this. We have been in our current house for 3 years, and while I always have flowers in the flower box during spring and summer, I’ve wondered how to make them look less bare in the winter. Your ideas are just what I needed. I’ve featured this at the TFT party. 🙂

Suzan Ferreira November 23, 2020 - 11:18 am

Thank you for your kind words & the feature Pam! Hope you can fill those spaces for some winter visual interest!

Cherelle | The Inspired Prairie November 17, 2020 - 8:20 pm

I love all the window box ideas you shared! I’ve tried talking my husband into building window boxes for me, but he doesn’t like the look, even though I do, hah!

Thanks for sharing with us on the Homestead Blog Hop!


Marielle November 13, 2020 - 10:08 pm

These are beautiful! I honestly never thought of decorating for the winter like this. So smart and looks amazing! Thanks for sharing. I’m visiting from the Friendship Friday link up today. Have a great weekend Suzan!

Suzan Ferreira November 14, 2020 - 10:25 am

Thank you Marielle! I appreciate your thoughts. Have a beautiful day & thank you for stopping by!

Joanne November 13, 2020 - 4:40 pm

Those look lovely! Thank you so much for sharing with us at Encouraging Hearts and Home. Pinned.

Bonnie November 10, 2020 - 4:28 pm

These window boxes look great!

Beth Shields September 21, 2020 - 5:31 pm

This is great encouragement to be creative. I don’t have window boxes but do have a court yard and could certainly do some fun decorating there. Thanks!

Marilyn Lesniak October 20, 2019 - 11:32 pm

Thank you for sharing at #OverTheMoon. Pinned and shared. Have a lovely week. I hope to see you at next week’s party too!

Melissa October 19, 2019 - 1:05 am

I just love using nature to decorate your home! I will definitely be using cypress and holly from our homestead for Christmas. For fall I have used Cotton and pine cones.
Your boxes are beautiful!
Thanks so much for sharing at Farm Fresh Tuesdays Blog Hop!
See you next week!

Suzan Ferreira October 19, 2019 - 9:51 am

Ohhh, I wish I had access to cypress 🙂 There is something so satisfying being able to harvest the greens. Thanks for reading!

Cherelle | The Inspired Prairie October 16, 2019 - 8:36 pm

Hi Suzan,

I so wish my hubs would like window boxes as much as I do because I would definitely have them if so! They are so pretty, and I love the winter greenery look in them.

Thanks for sharing this post with us on the Homestead Blog Hop!

Kippi October 13, 2019 - 12:45 pm

Lovely window boxes I cannot for my hubby to make us some.
Happy fall,

Cindy October 13, 2019 - 12:17 am

So pretty. And practical too as they go through the holidays to the end of the year. I have a vintage red wooden box on my front porch that I do the same thing with!

Suzan Ferreira October 14, 2019 - 9:56 am

They really do make an outdoor space special. Thanks for reading Cindy!

Adrienne October 12, 2019 - 9:57 pm

I love this! Use them all year, the birds can definitely benefit. You’ve done a beautiful job!

Suzan Ferreira October 14, 2019 - 9:57 am

Thank you, Adrienne! I’m so glad you enjoyed it.

Arianny Rodriguez October 12, 2019 - 5:59 pm

These look so beautiful! I have a new house so I’ll have to try it now. But I bet the arrangement won’t come out as nice as yours!

Suzan Ferreira October 14, 2019 - 9:58 am

Thank you, Arianny, but I’ll bet your’s will be just as beautiful 🙂

Lisa October 12, 2019 - 3:46 pm

Your talent is amazing and the window boxes look Amazing!

Heather October 12, 2019 - 3:27 pm

These are great! I have always wanted to decorate mine but did not know how to go about it. Thanks so much. I am excited to try it.

Suzan Ferreira October 14, 2019 - 9:59 am

Thanks, Heather! Be sure to share yours when you’re done with them!

Kristen Usrey October 12, 2019 - 2:58 pm

These are some really beautiful ideas!

Lisa Manderino October 12, 2019 - 2:25 pm

I wish I had this talent! So cute I love all your creations!

Suzan Ferreira October 12, 2019 - 2:56 pm

Awww, thank you, Lisa! I’m so glad you are enjoying them, but know that you can do this just as easily as I 🙂

Tricia Snow October 11, 2019 - 7:48 pm

These are beautiful! We don’t have window boxes in FL but I would love to. I have always loved them.

Jody October 11, 2019 - 6:37 pm

I wish I had time to do something like this but for now I just don’t. Looks pretty though.

Jen October 11, 2019 - 6:26 pm

I love the idea of decorating outdoor window boxes for the fall and winter – you did a great job describing how to do this – and do it well! Thank you!

Rachel October 11, 2019 - 5:43 pm

These are so pretty! I have always wanted a kind of snow-white house with lots of window boxes. It makes such a difference. ❤

Malia October 11, 2019 - 5:01 pm

Beautiful idea! You’re so fortunate to have such greenery growing close to home that you can use in these boxes. I’m sure the birds just love them!

Robin October 11, 2019 - 4:49 pm

Great post! I love this idea and your ideas on fillers are excellent! Thanks so much for sharing 🙂

Suzan Ferreira October 12, 2019 - 10:40 am

Thanks for reading, Robin!

Holly Bird October 11, 2019 - 4:16 pm

Suzan, these are great! I don’t have any window boxes..but I have 2 windows that could use them!! Thanks!


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