Cut Stems for High-Reaching Flair


Cut Stems for High-Reaching Flair

December 2, 2011

As winter rushes in with falling leaves and cooler temperatures, a new landscape emerges with subtle hues and grey skies in Central Ohio. I find myself searching for a punch of color and textural design. Fall planters with cut stems are a great way to add a new layer of interest to container design. I use cut stems for their contorted shapes, vibrant colors and to add height and drama as a centerpiece to fall planters. The additional benefit to the stems is their ability to transcend seasons by swapping out the base greenery.

The stems are taken from Dogwood (Cornus) and Willows (Salix) that we grow specifically on our farm, Red Twig Farms, for use in floral and container designs. The branches are trimmed fresh every fall, at the peak of their vibrant hues. I prefer to use the branches that are between 4–6 feet tall in containers and in large quantity, however they can be used in as many ways you can imagine. Below are a few containers we created using a variety of fall greenery and twigs.

Stem Container
A bunch of red twig dogwood (Cornus sericea ‘Baileyi’) act as a centerpiece to a planter filled with seeded eucalyptus (Ecualyptus ssp.), white peacock kale (Brassica oleracea ‘White Peacock’), and black mondo grass (Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Nigrescens’).

Scarlet Curls Willow
Scarlet Curls willow (Salix matsudana x S. alba ‘Scarlet Curls’) stems paired with spiral eucalyptus (Ecualyptus ssp.) and purple pansies (Viola x wittrockiana) in an Italian terracotta container.

Yellow Twig Dogwood
Yellow twig dogwood (Cornus sericea ‘Flaviramea’) paired with lemon thyme (Thymus x citriodorus) and black mondo grass (Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Nigrescens’).


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