Winter Landscaping Archive

Landscaping in Wisconsin’s Winter Season

Follow these simple winter landscaping tips to add beauty and interest to your yard

In the winter months, plants are at rest, snow and ice are abundant, and skies seem perpetually gray and static. Combined with virtually nothing to plant and a short winter to-do list, these conditions do little to motivate gardeners in snowy regions. But with careful planning and a few decorative touches, it is easy to build interest in your garden. Learn to appreciate your yard in the winter months by following these winter landscaping tips.

1. Assess your landscape – Because winter tends to conceal and not reveal, it is a good time to assess your landscape for missing focal points. Perhaps instead of non-plant elements, your yard could benefit from hardscapes such as a bird bath or a rustic trellis.

2. Embrace bark – Focus on bark that is colorful or that has a unique or unusual texture. Distinctive bark is easy to spot even in a blizzard and adds winter interest. Birch trees and dogwoods, in particular, add major winter curb appeal.

3. And embrace berries – Evergreen hollies, viburnum, and hawthorn add a striking pop of color to any yard during the drab gray winter months. Many other trees and shrubs have berries that attract birds for cold-weather bird watching. Crabapples, too, hold onto their fruit through the winter and add beauty to any snow-covered landscape.

4. Don’t forget evergreens – Conifer trees and evergreen shrubs can add visual interest year-round, but especially in the starkness of winter. Not only do evergreens come in a variety of colors such as a green, yellow and blue, they also tend to be tall. Appreciable height prevents evergreens from being dwarfed by mounds of snow, making them good, hardy focal points.

5. Embrace perennials – Use four-season perennials with evergreen foliage such as hellebores, feather reed grasses, and sedum. Read labels carefully to determine whether or not a plant can be used year-round. Additionally, use the season to stock up on hardscape elements such as sculptures, trellises and ornamental pots or planters. These items can often be bought at a bargain during the winter months.

6. Use summertime containers – Abundantly fill your window boxes or hanging baskets the same as you would in the summer months. Use evergreen boughs or birch tree branches if you want an inexpensive, but eye-catching look. Other striking options can include broadleaf evergreens, miniature dwarf Alberta spruce and red dogwood.

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