This weekend, plant up a yummy planter with evergreen, winter interest plants to enliven your front steps or porch this winter. A visit to your favorite local nursery will turn up plenty of beautiful colors, textures and shapes that will look good together. Play with some combinations to find what appeals most to you. Or, just copy this awesome combination. It looks great in a bright, sunshiny orange or yellow pot - maybe even in a bright, robin's egg blue pot. Try it!

Ingredients:

Pot: from Portland Nursery on Stark Street

Potting soil: Cornell Farm's custom blend (includes pumice - great for containers)

Packing Pearls: Small bag includes pearls, liner and drain cover. (Note: I use Pearls to make pot lighter and easier to carry, and to improve drainage. Read this piece I wrote last year about this indispensable product. It's re-usable year after year and pearls are composed of 30% recycled foam. If you don't use Packing Pearls, just be sure to use a well-draining potting soil that does not have "wetting agents" in it.)

Plants (purchased at Cornell Farm and Dennis 7 Dees Powell):

- Carex buchanii - an upright, "ever-copper" grass that thrives in cool weather

- Hebe 'Western Hills' - a fetching blue-leafed hebe with blackish stems

- Yucca 'Color Guard' - gold, green and pink variegated yucca

- Calluna vulgaris 'Firefly'- a gold-leafed heather which develops burgundy-orange tinting in winter

- Pansy (orange, burgundy, yellow)

- Jovibarba sobolifera - chartreuse-yellow succulent similar to "hens-and-chicks"