Gardens In Winter: Creating Interest and Beauty in the Coldest Months

Gardens In Winter: Creating Interest and Beauty in the Coldest Months

Good news: Spring is around the corner. However, while winter is still upon us, I’d like to talk about how homeowners can better enjoy this season’s unique beauty. Over the next few posts, we’ll explore the art of adding winter interest to a landscape, and show you how your garden can be inviting and beautiful all year long.

As far as landscapes go, spring and summer tend to get most of the glory. And why not? The rich green foliage and cascades of colorful blossoms are enough to charm even the most oblivious person. Then, of course, there’s fall. Leaf-peepers wait all year to catch the rich gold, red and orange hues of the trees as they prepare to give up their leaves.

And then we come to winter. A time of dormancy, and quiet, where we put away our garden tools, hunker down in our houses and wait for the first buds of spring to arrive.

That’s how many people see it, anyway. But I disagree. Here in the mountains, winter can last three to five months out of the year. That’s a long time to spend waiting for more colorful days, when you can enjoy the distinctive beauty winter has to offer. Winter is a transformative time, where, in all of its stillness, with all of the showier elements stripped away, you can see right into the heart and soul of a garden.

In winter, you can appreciate a garden’s whole framework, and notice all of the subtle things that would never catch your eye in other seasons. Like the distinctive texture dried ornamental grasses can add, or the way trees and shrubs become elegant organic sculptures – some with wonderfully colored or textured bark that goes virtually unnoticed in spring and summer. And how, during gray days, the fainter, richer and darker hues of green, red, yellow and even blue come alive in a way they never can in full sunlight.

You can absolutely create a garden with a set purpose of offering unique beauty in winter months. First, you have to know how to create a solid framework to build from. Next, you must have a good knowledge of plants, and an understanding of the different characteristics they possess all year long. You have to choose plants that offer beautiful growth in summer and spring months and color and texture during the winter. Then you have to strategically place those plants in a way that draws in the eye and pulls the garden together.

We love creating winter landscapes. It’s a layered, thoughtful process that pays off enormously and allows you to enjoy your outdoor space year round. Join us as we take you through the different ways we can add beauty to this often overlooked season.

In our next post: Hardscapes: a great garden requires great “bones”