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Let Hardscape Add Winter Interest

Nothing’s as boring to look at as piles and piles of white snow. It doesn’t have to be so boring. Many landscape designs include ornamental grasses, hollies with their red berries, and trees. But the deck or patio still looks bland. Why not use hardscape to add winter interest?

I know you don’t want to expose your good patio furniture to the elements but it won’t hurt to leave unupholstered furniture in place or even set up a winter patio using furniture made of wood or steel. Metal or wood chairs that have cushions on them in summer will look just fine without the cushions when they are covered in snow.

You can pick up some pieces if you don’t have such furniture. Check ads in the local shopping news or an online marketplace. Garage sales may also yield results, as may cruising around the neighborhood on garbage day. I’m sure you can find someone who has what you need and would be happy to see it repurposed. Your winter patio set doesn’t have to be comfortable, just rugged.

Durable garden art, such as certain statues, can be left in place. Wind chimes or garden bells tickle your auditory as well as your visual interests, unless the snow gets too deep for them to work.

Some families like to grill outside the year around. If you closed up and winterized your outdoor kitchen, don’t compromise that serious investment. Instead, buy a charcoal or an inexpensive gas grill for the winter patio. It won’t have all the bells and whistles of the winterized grill but it will give you a taste of summer on a cold winter night. Be sure and get a cover for it. Keeping it clean and covered will help it last for years.

The photo is a customer’s patio in winter. He used to put everything away but as pieces developed a pantina, he began leaving them in place. He protects another bistro set and love seat by placing them in a sheltered corner of the patio out of the picture. They are made of cast aluminum and the wind can blow them away easily. When this picture was taken, he was still putting two concrete statues away for the winter. Now they stay in place.

The table, chairs and firepit are all steel and mosaic tiles. The chiminea is concrete on a steel base. They withstand the weather well and the patina improves every year. Now, instead of looking out over a barren patio of snow, these residents have an interesting view of a southwest style bistro set and firepit, along with a Mexican chiminea and weathered park bench peeking out of the drifted snow. An interesting juxtaposition, don’t you think?

One comment on “Let Hardscape Add Winter Interest

  1. I appreciate the ideas that you have shared and these are worth considering as well. Keep sharing more work like this.

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