There are lots of easy ways to keep your yard interesting in winter, even when trees are bare and everything seems like a bland wash of gray. All it takes is a little bit of planning!
Adding color to a yard in winter is the simplest way to make it look like it’s lively even when it’s not. This can be done in a couple of ways.
Add In Statement Pieces
One option is to include a statement piece in your landscape. These pieces can range from gazebos to potted plant arrangements, and all have the same effect of giving guests something to look at other than just dead trees and browning grass. Choosing statement pieces with bright or bold colors is an easy way to ensure that these become one of the focal points of your yard. Reds, navy blues, silvers and golds are often good choices in color, as they contrast the browns, greens, and whites of a typical winter landscape.
Plant Flowers and Bushes That Flourish In Winter
Another way to add color to your yard is by including flowers that don’t die in winter or that bloom specifically during that season. You can also opt to plant bushes that grow berries in winter time or that have an interesting woody stalk or bark, as these will add a nice pop of color and texture to your yard.
This option is one that takes preparation, as you need time to actually plant these specific flowers, trees, or bushes, and let them grow. If this idea is one that sounds appealing to you, start looking into your winter-plant choices now, and then plan for you or a professional to plant them for you come springtime.
Grow Some Evergreen Trees Along With Seasonal Trees
The leaflessness of trees in winter is often a point of frustration for many homeowners, who work to construct the perfect landscape in warm months, only to have all their hard work fall away with the leaves in fall. One way to remedy this is by planting evergreen trees among deciduous ones. Evergreen trees are ones which do not lose their leaves or needles in wintertime, and include Pine trees, Cypress trees, Spruce trees, and Hemlock trees, just to name a few. Contact a landscaper in your area, and they can evaluate what tree is the best fit for your land. Add one or two to your existing landscape, and come winter, you will have added not only a nice variety of texture in your yard, but a hint at life, as well.
Include Trees With Distinctive Bark
Including interesting textures in your yard will keep it looking great no matter the season. When planning your landscaping for the upcoming year, consider planting trees with unique bark along with your typical array. Even when all the leaves fall, these trees will keep their bark, making for a nice variation from the often bleak look of the area around it. Birch trees are a great example of a tree with this kind of distinctive bark. (And bonus tip: birch bark can also be used in indoor floral pieces during wintertime for a woodsy look inside!)
Despite the extra effort it takes to keep a winter landscape looking nice and put together, winter plants often require far less maintenance than plants that live and thrive in springtime. Use the downtime you have in winter to your advantage, and prep for the upcoming season.
Previous Season’s Cleanup:
There is a lot you can do in the winter to help clean up your yard and prepare it for springtime, especially if you get started now. It’s often easiest to begin by cleaning up any mess leftover from fall, before attempting to rejuvenate and prepare for the new life of spring.
Leaf and Storm Debris Removal
Removing any leaves that were left unattended during fall from your grass will keep the grass healthy during winter. If leaves are left on your lawn and are then buried in snow, it can create molds and diseases in the grass and cause it to die or come in patchy in the spring. Take the time during this down season, to go around and throw out any soggy leaves littering your property. Keep up with any storm-related debris that may litter your yard, as well. Branches that fall or twigs that collect in unwanted spaces will be in the way in springtime, so take a trip out to your yard every now and then and get rid of whatever may have fallen from the trees during that last windy snow storm.
Pruning and Trimming
Winter also tends to be a time when shrubs and trees can get overgrown, leaving branches looking unruly. Head outside
and cut back unwanted areas during winter to make sure they’re ready to grow in healthy in spring. It is also often easier to
shape trees when they do not have their leaves, making winter the ideal time to work. Make sure you wear the proper safety equipment if you plan on doing some of your bigger jobs on your own, or call in an expert like Twin Pines to do it for you.
Your yard isn’t the only thing that needs to be kept up with in order to thrive in springtime. Winter is the perfect time to take care of the equipment that’s used to take care of your yard!
Your lawn mower specifically needs a lot of care to be stored properly for the winter. Even if you haven’t done so yet, take the time to empty the gas tank or add fuel stabilizer, change the oil, and sharpen the blades of the mower so it’s all set for spring. You should also replace the spark plug and air cleaner. *Note: Be sure to disconnect the spark plug wire before working on your mower for safety reasons.
Taking Precautions During Winter:
It’s important to keep your lawn’s well-being in mind, even during winter when it’s often covered by a layer of snow. There are a couple scenarios that tend to arise during this season that threaten to damage lawns and other plant life that make up your landscape come spring.
While it may seem tempting to let your kids use your snow-covered lawn as a playground, heavy foot traffic on grass can actually cause damage to it, especially when buried under snow. Instead, try to avoid too much time on the lawn now to ensure your grass grows in healthy and green again in spring.
Ice Melt Salt
It is very common for homeowners to use ice melt salts to help keep driveways and walkways in from getting slippery. However, applying this melt too close to your lawn or other plants can actually do a great deal of damage. Opt for an organic kitty litter instead, which is sure to create the traction you need without the potential damaging effects of ice melt.
Don’t Let Snow Buildup
Having snow piled on the branches of your trees may give your yard a nice wintry look, but in reality, it can cause damage to trees that could be detrimental. On evergreens especially–which tend to catch a lot of snow given that they are not bare like many trees—heavy snow can pile up and cause branches to break beneath the snow’s weight. To remedy this, make sure to gently brush snow up and off of branches surrounding your home after big snow storms. Your trees will thank you.
Wrap Shrubs In Burlap
Much like with your trees, shrubs and other exposed fixtures in your yard are often susceptible to winter weather. To prevent damage to these plants, you can wrap them up in burlap during months of low temperatures and high winds, preserving their shape and well-being for spring.
Winter may seem like a nice vacation from landscaping duties, but in reality, this time can be incredibly valuable! Design your yard to look great during snowy months, take the proper precautions to keep it looking great all season long, and start checking things off of your springtime to-do list.