During the winter months, many gardeners go into hibernation, leaving their yards to the snow while they wait for spring. It’s true that many of your plants won’t make it through the winter. Even the strongest deciduous trees will lose their leaves, and that can leave you low on winter garden ideas. However, you don’t have to entirely surrender your garden at the end of autumn. With a little planning, you can use winter plants to craft a stunning garden landscape for all seasons.
There are plenty of plants that stand up to cold weather. They can breathe life into your garden even when their surroundings are gray. Here are a few winter garden ideas you can use to spruce up your yard during the snowy season.
1. Plant Winter-Blooming Bulbs
Bulbs aren’t just for spring. In fact, several varieties of flower bulbs actually bloom in late winter, even when there’s still snow on the ground. Elegant white bell-flower snowdrops, for example, push up through ice and snow as early as February. If you’re looking for more color, winter aconite grows from a bulb into a bright yellow flower and blooms around the same time.
Winter-blooming bulbs can make great midwinter pick-me-ups for your garden. When you plant them, consider where they will make the most impact. Choose a location where they’ll be easily spotted from both outside and your window.
2. Add Structure With Evergreen Boxwoods
Gardeners of all sorts use boxwood shrubs in landscape design. These plants are versatile and hearty. They tolerate more pruning than other shrubs and retain their green color year-round, which makes them perfect for adding contrast to your winter garden.
Use evergreen boxwoods to add structure. You can plant them along the edges of your yard and trim them to create a natural fence. Alternately, you might use one single shrub to draw visual focus in a snowy landscape, trimming it into a round or swirling shape. Some people even get creative and turn these shrubs into winding labyrinths.
Whatever you choose to do with your boxwood shrubs, you can be sure that they’ll be a strong feature of your garden during every season.
3. Plant Winterberry Holly Shrubs
Winterberry holly shrubs brighten snowy landscapes with their red berries, and they’re native to eastern Canada and the United States. Though this variety of holly loses its leaves in the winter, its berries cling to the branches. This provides a splash of color and even draws wildlife like birds and deer, which use the berries as an emergency food source.
If you’re hoping to do some winter birdwatching, winterberry could be the perfect plant for your garden. Note, however, that you will need to buy compatible male and female shrubs if you want them to bear fruit. Prune the shrubs yearly to keep their size in check and plant them in a spot with plenty of sunlight for more berries.
4. Use Outdoor Furniture
The best winter garden ideas need not only involve plants. Outdoor furniture creates visual contrast in your garden during every season. Though you won’t likely be sitting outside on that bench after it snows, the seat will add visual interest to an otherwise bland landscape.
If possible, consider leaving your outdoor furniture outside in the winter, preferably in a spot that seems empty without it. That way, you won’t have to move anything come spring.
5. Plant Winter-Flowering Witch Hazel
The tall witch hazel shrub flowers in February, filling your garden with the sweet fragrance of its bright yellow flowers. Winter-flowering witch hazel can grow as large as a small tree, so it makes a great statement piece for your winter garden.
These plants have few problems, so as long as you give yours enough space to grow, you can easily prepare for winter flowers. As a bonus, witch hazel shrubs also sport beautiful fall foliage, so you can enjoy their colors for much of the year.
Bring Life to Your Winter Garden
Though you can’t prevent winter from coming, you can keep your garden looking lively. Winter plants and landscaping tricks can bring contrast and color to your garden, even under a thick blanket of snow. By using these winter garden ideas, you can enjoy your snowy landscape while planning for another year of spring planting.