As the winter months come upon us, the tendency is to shut down outdoor gardening for the duration of the winter season. However, there is nothing wrong with selecting plants that pop during the winter months when covered with snow.
The blues and greens as well as the texture of evergreens help to make a priceless winter snow scene. (Courtesy: Kaarina Dillabough at flickr.com)
Types of gardens you can pursue during the winter months include:
• Pursuing a winter garden in northern climates where you can take advantage of the snow to add interest to the flora.
• Pursuing middle tier gardens where the region tends to fluctuate between snow and bare.
• Pursuing a winter garden where snow is rare, but it’s too cold to expect plants to grow.
• Pursuing winter gardening in the Sunbelt region.
Gardeners who live in the northern reaches of the United States where snow is a common occurrence tend to continue gardening outdoors with evergreen trees and shrubs What’s so great about evergreen foliage is that it is ideal for a garden or a landscape regardless of the season. Many experienced gardeners look at evergreens as a backbone of a garden.
Since evergreens are a long-term investment, the key of getting the best out of them all year ‘round is correct placement. Some gardeners turn to the expertise of professional landscapers in helping them with this. When placed properly, evergreens can be ideal for adding impact in the winter snow.
You can also use evergreens in large pots. In this case, they can be moved when needed and serve as an accent for decks and patios. Make sure that you select evergreen foliage that is at least two zones hardier than the zone where you like to assure that they survive through a cold winter.
Evergreens lend an interest of form and color to a garden or landscape. Their blues and greens as well as their texture help to make winter snow scenes in your landscape pop.
Trees and shrubs that feature colored, patterned or textured bark can also be an ideal addition to your landscape that can help to pop the winter months. Many of the best trees for this appearance are the deciduous trees that lose their leaves in the winter allowing the bark to grab the attention.
Colored bark that appears on Red-Osier Dogwood like Arctic Fire™ could be ideal. These trees are similar to evergreens in that they make a showing all year ‘round. And just as with evergreens, it is important to survey your landscape to select the best location for their placement.
Plants with appealing bark can vary and can include large trees like paperback maple and dogwood that lends impact when they are poking out of the snow.
Berries And Flowers
Another option for adding impact to your landscape in the winter is berries. A good example is Hollies, which are the classic winterberry-bearing shrub. Holly berries just scream out winter. In addition, birds love the berries. Remember to plant one male pollinator for every five berry-bearing female plants to obtain a good set of berries on most hollies.
There are some plants that will flower in the winter. They include Pansies, Violas, Witch Hazel and Hellebores. These plants offer blooms in zone 5 into zone 4. If you happen to live in the Sunbelt or in a region where the winter is mild, then consider Nemesia, Pansies, Osteospermum, Chrysocephalum, and Snapdragon.
Persistent Foliage, Seed Heads And Seed Pods
It is true that many plants turn brown and dry during the progression of fall. However, some plants with this characteristic can look quite nice in the winter. Dried flowers or seeds of ornamental grasses and shrubs including hydrangeas look great when blanketed with snow. Some perennials, too, have dried flower heads that show great when snow covered. These plants include fall flowering sedum. Dried seed heads, flowers and foliage look great with snow coverage.
Paint, Statuary And Pottery
You can also consider other items besides plants to lend interest to your winter landscape. For example, you can paint a wooden fence or wall in a bright color. You can even include architectural accessories including benches, arbors, statues, and frost-tolerant containers to perk up your landscape in the winter snow.