Are you looking at your yard and seeing a bland canvas of grey trees, twigs and branches? Winter doesn’t have to mean a season of outdoor snooze-views. Here are some landscape options to consider that will keep your interest piqued until spring kicks in its colorful arrival.
Evergreens – The simplest way to keep your landscape from feeling like a barren winter wasteland is to include some evergreens. Open your eyes to the varied color, texture, and forms available; ground-hugging, fine-needled Blue Rug junipers, towering, shiny-leafed Hollies with their dark green leaves and bright red berries, majestic Blue Spruces, feathery, golden-green Japanese False Cypress and more.
Bark interest – Some trees have bark so beautiful that winter becomes the ideal backdrop to showcase their beauty. Red Osier Dogwoods with their ruby-hued winter branches look stunning against the snow. Trees that are stand-alone stunners include Paperbark Maples with their cinnamon-hued bark curls; River Birches, another multi-hued, curly-bark beauty; Japanese Stewartia that have mottled barks of ivory, sand, rust and smoke in impressionistic-like patterns and Chinese or Lacebark Elm that looks like glazed pottery with intricate patterns of mixed green, golden-orange, grey and brown.
Berries – Not only do shrubs that have winter berries add interest to the garden, they’re also wonderful food sources for birds, squirrels, and other small animals. Some attractive ones to consider include Red Chokeberry that displays dense bunches of tiny red berries throughout the winter and Purple Beautyberry with delicate clusters of brilliant purple berries. Winterberry—as the name suggests—is a gorgeous addition to the winter landscape. Different varieties boast different colors, from the vibrant red fruits of the Red Sprite Winterberry to the honey-gold berries of the Winter Gold Winterberry. For smaller spaces, Berry Poppins is a great dwarf variety that produces thick clusters of vibrant red berries. It needs a male pollinator for it to set fruit, so pair it with Mr. Poppins to ensure a colorful winter show.
Landscape Lighting – A sometimes-overlooked winter landscape element to also consider is lighting. In a snowy landscape it can add a soft, ethereal glow as well as cast dramatic shadows, highlighting the inherent architectural beauty of bare trees and shrubs. Use it to create a single focal point for a striking visual statement or several focal points to lend a dynamic energy to your landscape.
Call us at Farmside for more great ideas on how to punch up the look of your winter landscape.