Landscapes don’t have to look drab during the winter.    In fact, a winter landscape can be colorful and interesting if designed properly.  Below are some tips to getting the most out of your landscape even in the midst of winter.

It is undeniable that evergreens provide color in the winter; however, they are not the only option for interesting plant material.  Some plants have vibrant colored stems, such as the Red-twig Dogwood or a Cherry tree with bronze colored bark.  Some plants produce brightly colored fruit that persist throughout the winter, which not only adds color, but also attracts wildlife.  The Cranberry Viburnum is a great example of this type of plant.  Sometimes the form of a plant, whether it is pendulous or upright, can also be used to create interest.  Ornamental grasses are wonderful during the winter because they brighten the landscape with golds and yellows.

The creative use of plant material isn’t the only way to make a winter landscape more attractive.  Many designers like to incorporate accent boulders and dry-stream beds for year-round interest.  These features are great for dividing large landscapes into manageable sections.  They also reflect our mountainous surroundings.

Hardscape features and garden art are also effective in creating a beautiful winter landscape.  Retaining walls, accent boulders, pergolas, decks, benches, and water features can really stand out when a landscape is covered in snow.  Water features may not run in the winter, but ice is a beautiful element that attracts wildlife.  With all of the available options, there aren’t any excuses for a drab winter landscape!

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