If you’ve got some big planters in your landscape, they don’t have to stay empty and boring this winter. The rest of your landscape might be dormant, but your containers can add a pop of color and interest until spring blooms return.

A colorful container can be a decorative element by itself. Use brightly colored ceramic pots to add some interest to your porch or stoop. But if you’ve gone with muted colors in your containers, you can still add some pizzazz without freshly cut flowers.

Follow the same guidelines (thriller, filler, spiller) that you would in summer to combine materials. For a “thriller,” use long branches like dogwood. Fill spaces with pinecones, artificial flowers, or holiday ornaments, and position evergreens or garland to spill over the sides.

If you don’t already have pinecones or branches in your yard to use, visit your local garden center for some natural elements to add interest to your container. You could even add some whimsy with a garden gnome or other colorful sculpture. Or use a ball of string lights to fill the space and light up your landscape.

Get creative and keep your containers looking pretty until you can plant flowers again.