Landscapes often lack winter interest. The views from our windows can be white, white, white. But just because we live in a snowy region doesn’t mean our gardens have to lack winter beauty. Under the blanket of snow, the bright colors of summer are only a memory, but with careful planning you can have more than a palette of white and gray. Start with a good landscape design that considers winter interest. Careful planning plus a few accents just for winter will give you a beautiful landscape that sparkles in the snow.
Love Your Yard in Every Season
Focus on Bark
Deciduous trees lose their leaves in autumn, leaving their branches and trunks in focus. Include in your design some interesting ornamental trees that have visually distinctive bark to add winter interest. Suggestions might be river birch, or paperbark maple.
Many trees and shrubs have berries they hold onto during fall and winter, and those can provide food for birds overwintering in your area. Hardy examples would be crabapples and serviceberry trees. Both hold their fruit and make a great addition to the landscape year-round.
Of Course, Evergreens
Evergreens are great in the winter landscape for many reasons. First, there’s color: Evergreens are not just green; they’re available in yellow, such as Gold Thread false cypress, and blues, including dwarf blue spruce, and all colors in between. And evergreens just make good design sense. They are really important for a winter landscape, but they make good focal points all year. Some perennials have evergreen foliage, like hellebores. Still others like ornamental grasses and hydrangea may not be evergreen but their spent flower heads add movement and winter interest making them a great addition to the year-round landscape.
What Else is Missing?
The dead of winter it is a good time to assess the landscape for what could make a real difference. Where are the focal points? If they are all hidden under the snow the solution to enhancing your winter landscaping might not be a plant at all. Is there a place where a trellis, a bench, or a garden sculpture would add some missing drama, color and winter interest?
Nothing adds color and interest all year like seasonal containers. They are indispensable for winter landscaping. It can be as simple as filling containers with evergreen boughs of different textures and colors and interesting twigs.
Keep In Mind
While we are talking about winter landscaping it is important to care for your plants in the winter. Snow can be beneficial to landscape plants. It acts as an insulator and can protect some plants from the effects of a freezing and thawing cycle. Further, the melting snow adds moisture as it melts. But too much snow puts added weight and causes damage to plants. Be sure to keep shoveled and plowed snow away from plantings.
A Word About Winter Care for Your Hardscape Surfaces
Paver and natural stone walks and patios are durable as well as beautiful. But as with most things, some care and maintenance is required. Use care when clearing snow and ice from your hardscape surfaces. To care for your pavers or natural stone in the winter, it is recommended to use a plastic or rubber-edged shovel to avoid leaving any scratch marks on your walk or patio. This means that your snow blower should also be fitted with a plastic shoe on the adjustable gliders and on the scoop edge. Do not use sharp objects to chop ice as they can damage the surface.
Deicer – Proper use of a chemical deicer can ease your battle with snow and ice. You want to use the minimum amount of product needed to loosen the snow or ice and then shovel away the slush. Do not cover the surface with deicer and wait for it to completely melt the snow or ice. It is important to remove the deicer, and not to let it sit on the stone. Be sure to avoid using rock salt product, or any deicer containing sodium chloride. These products are likely to damage the pavers and the surrounding landscape. We’ve provided additional care guidelines here on our website.
We love to provide solutions for landscape problems. Give one of our designers a call now. Set up an appointment this winter for a new and improved landscape this year.