For a change from pine boughs and redtwig dogwood branches, consider this simple dried arrangement of ‘Annabelle' hydrangea stems, Chinese willow and blue-dyed eucalyptus. Cast-iron tablecloth weights, hung from the willow branches to catch the snow, are the finishing touch (you could use wooden ornaments or crystal prisms, too).
Anchor the materials in soil (if your container is frozen, first bring indoors overnight to thaw) or use an empty resin urn, as we've done here, weighed down with bricks then snugly fitted with blocks of florists' oasis. If Chinese willow, eucalyptus or dried hydrangea are in short supply, create your own combination by substituting interesting materials foraged from field and garden, such as dried thistles, branches, grasses, vines, berries and bulrushes. The key is to create a pleasing form with textural and colour contrasts, so step back often to check your work.