Recent Work

All of my group has been fabricating and installing at a breakneck pace since early November. That intensity has its ups and downs. By the end of a six day week, we are all tired. But the best part of an intense season are those great ideas that emerge. Design and fabrication is a big fluid situation ripe for innovation. I see that happening every day, from every member of my crews. They not only produce the work, they endow it. How I love that.  Would that I could express what it is like for us during this end of the year gardening season, but that would be a full length movie of interest to my group, and not so much anyone else. So suffice it to let the work speaks for itself.

English lead pot from Bulbeck dressed for the winter

Winter pot in blue and white

Layered winter pot featuring a stand u[p collar of German boxwood

trio of wood boxes dressed for winter

pots and garland

single London Plane tree lighted for winter

the pair of plane trees

Pink eucalyptus and copper curly willow

winter arrangement with faux bleached pine picks and dry okra pods

Jackie boxes ready for the holidays


curly copper willow and cotton picks

magnolia and faux sedum flower picks

Himalayan white barked birch with a winter blanket

front porch box with a winter arrangement English urn dressed for the holidays

winter cheer for a local restaurant

Dry integrifolia and white eucalyptus mixed

a holiday and winter mix


lighted winter container

Birch branches and red twig dogwood

red bud pussy willow, pine cone picks, magnolia branches and noble fir

lighted winter container with foraged tree of heaven branches

lighted topiary form with red and green

curly willow and red eucalyptus

yellow twig

red eucalyptus and icy red berry picks

red and green

5′ diameter light rings, green fuzz ball picks and red bud pussy willow make a bold statement.

A Michigan winter calls for a little gardening intervention.




  1. Oh goodness! All so perfectly beautiful.

  2. Oh my, it’s hard to pick a favorite. How good of you to share your ideas for some of us creatively ‘impaired’! You work is just exquisite, imaginative and inspirational! Seeing these completed works of art is quite a Christmas gift!

  3. Robert A Beebe says

    My favorite was the Himalayan white barked birch with a winter blanket.

    • Deborah Silver says

      The install on that was interesting. Marzela did the greens-then Dan cut the form/greens in half-so the forms could be fitted around and embrace the birch. Then we inserted 4 lengths of steel rebar which got wired together. I love how it looks too. all the best to you and Kate. Deborah

      • Nella Davis Ray says

        That was mine too! I don’t recall seeing the Himalayan white barked birch for sale at the store. Did I miss it?

        • Deborah Silver says

          Dear Nella, we planted Himalayan white barked birch trees for my client several years ago. These are live trees-not cut branches. We keep our fingers crossed that the trees survive in the pots. best, Deborah

          • Oh, my! The fact they’re not cut branches but live trees makes it even more beautiful. This arrangement stopped me in my tracks: house, pot and arrangement are a perfect fit with one another. Sleek and minimalist and stunning.
            I am a true traditionalist, though and I really enjoyed the photo entitled “red and green”. So pretty.
            Also, the way you wrap the lights around the plane trees is so sophistocated and, yet, simply magical.
            Wonderful work!

          • Deborah Silver says

            Dear Pilar, thank you so much for your letter. I so appreciate it. all the best, Deborah

  4. An explosion of inspiration! One of my favorite posts.
    Every arrangement is simply fabulous.

  5. Every one is unique and fabulous! LOVE them all!!

  6. Joni W. Holinger says

    Maybe I missed this in prior comments, but which product do you prefer for treating the evergreens? I’ve tried one you spray on, and one which I’ve dipped the greens in. Just stunning presentations.

    • Deborah Silver says

      Dear Joni, we do spray on VaporGard when containers are in exposed locations. Or wiltPruf makes a commercial grade antidessicant. best, Deborah

      • Joni W. Holinger says

        Thank you for the feedback. I do not know VaporGard, do not really like Wilt Stop, but will try WiltPruf next time.

        • Deborah Silver says

          Dear Joni, VaporGard is the best. It is a commercial product only available by the gallon. That is a tough go for a single person. Try the heavy duty wiltpruf. all the best, Deborah

      • Goodness, I just read that as …commercial grade antidepressant…your pots, posts, and oh those plane trees, are just that. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  7. Simply the best! And so inspiring.

  8. Karen L Harding says

    Here in Ladner, British Columbia it is the constant rain, not the cold that prevents us from getting out in our gardens. Arranging winter pots with foraged materials extends the gardening season and really brightens up our dark evenings. Thanks for the inspiration for “gardening intervention.”

  9. Deborah,
    I love seeing your work. It’s so generous of you to take the time to post the close-up photos and detailed descriptions for those of us who try to create something for our own homes. In my case, on a smaller scale, for sure.

    I live in the mountains of Northern Vermont (zone 3) and we have very long winters. As a gardener, I really crave seeing greens where my gardens are for the six months we have snow-covered ground, from November through late April. Next year, I would like to put two freeze-proof pots on either side of my front porch. I have windowboxes full of greens and a garland with large pinecones every year which I take down in late February after the sun fades the greens. I have plenty of red-twigged dogwood, crabapple, and winterberry in my yard to use, although the birds eat most of the ilex berries. But I’m having trouble finding a true, large, freeze-proof container. Have you found anything that can withstand high winds and minus -37 degrees, with several weeks in the minus twenties? The so-called, freeze-proof containers I’ve used, even when not watered, except by nature, have all either cracked or blown away. Should I just get wooden containers, weight them, and replace them every few years? Thanks for any advice.

    • Deborah Silver says

      Dear Linda, I would try to find some concrete pots that are fiber reinforced. Or steel pots-like the ones we make at Branch. They are 100% weatherproof. I also would use large-ish rock in the bottom 1/3 of the pots-to keep them in place, and provide drainage. If you buy Ipe or teak boxes, then should withstand the weather just fine. best, Deborah

      • Thank you, Deborah. I can’t believe I never thought to put a large rock in the bottom of the pot! I certainly have plenty of them.

  10. Michaele Anderson says

    It’s like a beauty pageant for container arrangements. Each one is a star in its own unique way. What happy clients you must have.

  11. All so I incredibly beautiful and such an inspiration. This summer a local business in Sylvania, Ohio had gorgeous planters in from of their small downtown store. What a statement this makes. Love your work!

  12. They are all so beautiful but my favorite picture is #6. . . . just stunning!

  13. It’s all gorgeous but OMGosh! Those plane trees are stunning! A lovely design that is beautifully engineered. And they look to be out in the middle of ‘nowhere’ (as in not near a power source) – are they battery operated lights?

  14. Suzanne Albinson says

    No 6 is particularly striking. The combination of the impact of four containers with the dark red material and the cones in the beautiful swag picking out the light colour in the containers. Well done.

  15. Aahhhhmazing!!! Yes, that’s a word!

  16. Hi Debra, I’ve followed your blog/emails/career for years. Love….love. Question…I live in the PNW and am starting to do more and more containers for clients. I have used Yellow dogwood before but this past spring many faded and turned black/brown. Lost all their fabulous color. I’m sure the rain but should I have sealed? You have tough weather…do your branches whether red, yellow or curly willow get treated? Thank you for your blogs. So educating!

    • Deborah Silver says

      Dear Janette, I have never seen this happen, nor do we treat our twigs with anything. Were they fresh cut just before you used them? Did you have a hot spring? It sounds like your twigs completely dried out.I frequently have twigs in spring pots root-but they are fresh cut before we use them. Best, Deborah

  17. Frieda Hickman says

    Just amazing

  18. Thank you Deborah, for the blog. I leave untouched all my message in the inbox until I have read your blog. Not only is it a feast for the eyes but the inspirations and the how-to’s are so helpful. My containers look fantastic this winter because of your blog. Because of your inspirations and I have freed myself from arrangements being all foraged and natural to mixing things up with faux elements that are tasteful and appropriate. Now my containers have presence and scale.

  19. Edward Cummings says

    Beautiful work as usual, as I look at these, and having done many winter containers myself, I know the amount of physical and mental work that goes into each container and display. It is appreciated, thanks for sharing!!

  20. So thrilled to have recently discovered this amazingly talented group via their postings ….I am in awe of the beauty and craftsmanship of each piece. Thank you for your extra efforts to share your work.

  21. Have you worked here, in Northville?

    The pics on your site are works of art. Thank you I look forward to every update.

  22. I love getting this blog. What comes through for me, besides the beautiful quality of the work, is your ability as a leader. I feel the sense of joy in teamwork and the value you place on each member of the team. Thank you for your example!

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