Your winter view out the window doesn’t have to be a bleak sea of white. In fact, winter landscapes can be quite beautiful. Creating such a scene, however, has to be a cooperative effort between you and Mother Nature.
Mother Nature will provide the icing but you have to provide the cake. When planning your landscape, think four seasons rather than three. Imagine what your yard can look like after a snowfall and choose both plants and hardscape with winter in mind. You may have to move a few things around between seasons but that’s a small price to pay for winter interest.
Snow will probably not cover evergreens completely so imagine them with a dusting of snow. Check the big arborvitaes at the left in the photo and the junipers on the hill. They have just enough snow to give them that Currier & Ives look. In the center, two dwarf blue spruces peek their heads out from the snow.
The deciduous trees have also retained a dusting of snow on their bare branches. But, imagine them glistening in the sun after an ice storm. Each branch looking like an icicle. The ornamental grasses in the background are planted in no small part to add their wheat like color to the winter landscape. In spring, they’ll be cut to the ground to make way for fresh, green stalks to begin the cycle again.
And then there’s the hardscape. Most of the furniture is of a southwest design so the colorful mosaics peeking out from around the snow provide a hint of bright color to contrast with the white of the snow. In the background, wind chimes tickle another sense every time the wind blows. The igloo shaped domes of snow on the tables add a touch of whimsy, as does the juxtaposition of a Mexican clay chiminea with snow covering its openings.
This is one person’s idea of an attractive winterscape. Yours will depend on the layout of your landscape and the direction that the wind blows the snow. You might want to take photos now and again after a snow storm to help stimulate your creative juices. The substrate that your autumn landscape provides may look like the perfect cake. But, when Mother Nature adds the icing, you may want to add more plant material, or move some around. Or the hardscape placement may need some tweaking. You can make hardscape adjustments between snowfalls. Keep doing it until you’re happy. Then take more pictures so you know where to place everything next winter.
If you’d like professional help selecting plant materials, our professional landscape designers would be happy to help you determine what plants will be best for the spots you have in mind, and our installation professionals can take that responsibility off your shoulders. All you have to do is enjoy winter rather than staring at a flat sea of white.
Okay, I just had to stop anyway. I do sort of wonder about how this works in other climates.