It’s cold and snowing outside. Does that mean you can’t show off your lawn until the next melt?
Not at all. With some creativity, you can design a winter landscape that shows off the most beautiful aspects of your yard. Brightly coloured fixtures, winter plants and shrubs, and strategic use of lighting can all combine to deliver colour and winter interest even when all you can see everywhere is white!
Future Planning for Cold-Weather Plants
Cold-resistant plants spend the winter underground in a dormant stage. They store nutrients in their bulbs, tubers, and tap roots during the spring and summer and rely on these stored supplies when the weather turns cold. Other plants, however, are resilient enough to survive above ground during winter.
- Camellia: If shielded from the wind, this flower will brighten up your snow-covered garden.
- Cyclamen: During fall, Cyclamen blooms with beautiful flowers. It also has lovely winter foliage that lasts through spring.
- Hyssop: Herbs like this one can survive the coldest winter months and are an excellent addition to soups and teas.
- Winterberry: The Winterberry is a deciduous holly that produces bright red berries throughout the winter. It’s also a favourite food among birds that stay in Hamilton for the winter.
In the winter, these plants add colour, texture, and sculptural interest to a landscape. While some traits are subtle, others are explicit and command attention.
Needled evergreens can brighten a drab winter landscape. Unlike deciduous trees, which lose their leaves in the fall, evergreen trees display colour continuously throughout the year. They can have blue, green, or even yellow needles that add a lot of interest. Those that tend to do best in Ontario’s climate include:
- Balsam Fir: Known primarily as a Christmas tree, the balsam fir has lush green needles and pale grey or green bark. Once mature, it can reach heights of up to 75’ and have a 20-25’ spread.
- Japanese Yew: This evergreen can withstand the harshest North American winters. As a tree, it can grow to more than 50’ high if allowed.
- Tamarack: Also known as the larch tree, the tamarack technically isn’t an evergreen, but it’s grouped in with them due to their ability to thrive in colder environments. They have brilliant green needles that turn yellow and disappear in fall.
Hidden Features and Outdoor Lighting
Use your bare deciduous trees to your advantage. Certain trees can really exhibit their beauty and unique features without their leaves, whether they’re well-shaped symmetrical trees reaching toward the sky or ancient, twisted oaks stretching across the horizon. Adorning their trunks and branches with outdoor lights can heighten the effect after dark.
When leafy deciduous trees are bare in the winter, yards can take on a different appearance too. Now is the time to showcase your brick and stone hardscapes that may have gone unnoticed during the other season. Ornamental fences, trellises, and arbours tend to stand out during this time of year when they’re not covered in foliage, so drape them with outdoor lights when appropriate to create additional winter interest.
Use Colourful Outdoor Containers for Winter Interest
Make use of vibrant outdoor containers and window boxes by planting ornamental grasses, miniature evergreens, or vegetation that can survive the winter. Few things proclaim winter cheer like a bright red planter full of lush evergreens.
Enjoy a Beautiful Yard Even in Winter!
Winter does not have the same vibrancy as other seasons, but adding a little bit of colour to your yard allows you to admire it from the comfort of your home while a blanket of snow adds to the picturesque winter scene. When spring returns and you need regular landscaping services (or even a new pool) don’t forget to reach out to Green Collar Landscaping!