31 Jan Landscaping During the Winter Months
During the winter when the plants are “put to bed” against the harsh cold and snow it is easy to assume that your garden is all but non existent. But if you live in a cold climate there is actually lots of potential for landscaping that accentuates the beauty of the season!
First, consider your hardscape! Unfamiliar with the term? That’s ok! Hardscaping is simply the aesthetic created by YOU: your man-made objects that interplay with the vegetation. Think walls, paths, trellises, benches, gazebos, sculptures– anything that you might use to create structure and form within your landscape. Consider adding a fire pit as a focal point for the winter season. Even a couple of thoughtfully placed chairs create a warm invite to spend some time outdoors.
While most of your plants are asleep for thewinter you are actually given a great opportunity to really see the landscape in this bare-bones state, stripped of most vegetation. This will give your eye the chance to see where a path might flow or a structure might add to the lines of the garden. While the ground is frozen during winter is probably not the best time to lay a path, for example, it is an excellent time to plan for one! This also goes for planning the plants for the next growing season. Use this dormant time wisely for preparing for the hustle and bustle of the spring thaw that will be here before you know it! Gather materials. While the garden is barren is a great time to map out where to plant new annuals come springtime.
Also take a look at the trees and bushes in your yard. Winter strips away all foliage allowing the lines of trees and bushes to become highlighted against often overcast skies and snowy backgrounds of winter. Some trees have striking silhouettes which you may wish to add to in the future with other trees. Consider adding a few unique plants such as the Contorted Filbert for even more interesting winter silhouettes. This plant’s spires and twists are sure to catch the eye and look amazing with a white blanket of snow to contrast!
If it’s color you’re after never fear! Shrubs like the redosier dogwood and yellow twig dogwood have striking red and yellow bark that looks dazzeling year round, but especially in the winter when there is no other foliage to distract the eye from the slender, bright lines. Similarly some varieties of witch hazel flower late in winter, adding bursts of yellow and orange to the bleak winter greyness.
Never underestimate the beauty of winter berry bushes. It’s amazing how much color tiny berries of the Highbush Cranberry plant can add to your landscape. Because they are so tart many birds do not find them palatable. However the more rare and beautiful Cedar Waxwing birds are willing to eat them in the winter when other food is scarce. Other winter berry plants include hawthorns, viburnums, and hollies. These all tout bright red berries. Is it any wonder that red and green are celebrated as classic winter colors?
And speaking of green, now is the perfect time to appreciate your evergreen varieties. From feathery pines, to classical Christmas trees such as blue spruce, deep green hemlocks, and smokey green cedars now is the time to let your eye absorb the more subtle green hues of evergreens. Many bushes also remain green throughout the season, such as juniper and laurels.
As you scan your yard and wonder where to begin and which plants do well in your region, give us a call.
Our landscapers would be happy to guide you with their expert eye and knowledge of the local flora!