Garden Landscaping: Easy Ideas for Winter!

By the time winter arrives, most gardeners are ready for a break. This does not mean that your garden in the wintertime should be lackluster. There are a multitude of ideas you can easily incorporate to bring winter enjoyment and interest to your gardens in the winter. Here are just a few you can use:

Landscaping:

Landscaping can be very important and beautiful. If you are blessed with an “unlevel” space, then you can easily create interest. Low stone walls will incorporate low growing “creeping” plants in the summer and eye appeal in the winter. Be sure to follow the contour of the land to make the job easier and the terracing as natural as possible. Layers of river rock over weed barrier material will inhibit weeds and form a resting place for items of interest as statues, gazing balls, pagodas, etc.

Water Features:

Water fountains must be de-activated in the winter so an in-ground water feature gives interest the entire year. Whether it has water or a “dry” creek bed, water features add year-round interest to any landscape garden in the winter. Goldfish will hibernate through the winter if given a depth of three feet to sustain them during the freezing time.

Eye Appeal Items:

There are many items to choose from in this category. There are statues, metal art, bird baths, pagodas, “yard art” in general, in any style of choice. Not too many, please! These items are designed to direct the attention toward a certain area and “clutter causes confusion”, not tranquility. Adding art features to the garden is so easy it is usually overdone.

Trees:

There are many evergreen trees you can incorporate in your gardening and landscape to provide interest and beauty in the winter. The Alaska False Cypress has beautiful drooping foliage, the Arborvitae is an evergreen tree that is favored for its privacy features and holds a deep green color all winter. There is a miniature version of the Arborvitae that has yellow foliage.

There are numerous deciduous trees that provide winter interest in the colorations of bark and limbs. A favorite deciduous tree is the Contorted Philbert. It has an extreme twisted limb that in the winter makes it outstanding! Japanese Pagoda Tree bears fruits and seeds which form “chains” that last until spring. Many trees have different bark colors and bark peels that give interest in the winter months; Lacebark Elm and White River Birch are two popular types.

Shrubs:

Use of shrubs in winter landscaping can be easy. Shrubs with evergreen leaves and berries, such as holly, are a beautiful contrast in the winter. Crepe Myrtle and Hardy Hibiscus have stalks with color and interest once the leaves have fallen. Wisteria, although a vine, can be twined to form a tree and Lavender and Nandina also have interest and eye appeal in a winter landscape gardening area.

Grasses:

Oh, the beautiful grasses that are available today are wonderful! Maiden Hair Grass is a non-invasive grass that will grow 4 feet tall in the second year and puts up beautiful stalks with blooms that last all winter long. The graceful motion of the grass in the wind is tranquility itself. Pampas Grass has gorgeous bloom stalks and the Zebra Grass is absolutely regal in the winter as it holds its stripes well. Don’t forget the grasses, from miniature plants to large eye-catching beauties!

Birds:

An easy addition to the winter garden is birds! You can maintain them all winter with ornamental bird feeders and bird baths. If you have the space, they like nothing better than to play and argue with one another in and around a brush pile! Their noisy delight is a blessing on a cold winter day, giving hope that spring will come.

Unless you have experience in designing a landscaping plan, it is best to contact a local landscape designer, or nursery, for assistance in the design lay-out of your landscape and garden. Plants are expensive and the work can be laborious, so a preconceived plan will save time, money and backaches! As with any landscape or garden plan, work is forever on-going; that is the joy of gardening. Enjoy the fruits of your labor even in the winter!

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