Visions of neatly trimmed hedges, green lawns and vibrant flowers may be your inspiration when you hire a landscape designer for your new property. But it's also wise to remember that there's a long stretch of time when winter sets its cold, rainy spell over the land. Trees lose their leaves, lawns lose their luster and flowering plants lose the bright blooms that dappled the landscape with spots of color. An experienced designer will have solutions to overcome the grim, gray appearance that many gardens have from late fall until early spring. You'll know you've found a great landscape professional when the plans for the property include plants and features with these types of wintertime charm.
Many flowering perennials do best when they're cut back and protected by mulch to overwinter. But several kinds bring texture and dimension to a dull winter garden, including
- Autumn Joy Stonecrop. Also known as Sedum Autumn Joy, these hardy plants with the waxy leaves display flat clusters of deep pinkish-red flowers atop sturdy, tall stems in the late days of fall. Leave the stems and flower tops intact until spring. The foliage will turn a rich shade of bronze for a showy display that's even more attractive with a dusting of snow for accent.
- Hellebores. Sometimes called Christmas roses or Lenten roses, these perennials unfurl their leaves in the dead of winter and typically bloom from December through early spring. The lush, green foliage provides brilliant contrast to surrounding brown ground and a bright pop of color against a snowy backdrop.
- Winter Heath. This tough perennial originates from the cold, windy hillsides of Europe. The winter heath plants have a pleasant mound shape and are covered with tiny leaves that turn dark green with coppery edges through winter. Delicate pink flowers cover the plant as early as January in many growing zones and keep on blooming to usher in the spring.
Large swaths of perennials with winter interest are often included in the landscape design for maximum visual impact during the cold season. On smaller properties, the plants may be displayed in clusters or in borders.
When autumn has passed, many trees and shrubs look barren without their leaves. There are several species, however, that offer outstanding color and texture during the months when the surroundings are otherwise bleak. Red twig dogwood, for example, looks like an ordinary leafy shrub throughout the summer. But in winter when the leaves have fallen, the brightly colored branches of red twig dogwood bring high drama to a landscape in hibernation. A row of these plants have eye-catching beauty through rain, fog, snow and sleet. River birch trees provide lovely shade when they're fully leafed out. In autumn, their leaves drop quickly. That's when the trees create a handsome accent in the winter landscape with their peeling bark that reveals colors ranging from soft salmon to shades of purple and brown.
Evergreen trees and shrubs are the bold accents of an attractive winter garden. Favorites include
- holly – shiny, bright green leaves, pretty pyramid form and bright red berries bring festive pizzazz to the setting,
- junipers – low-growing shrub-type junipers are ideal for attractive ground-cover during the winter,
- yews – dense, green foliage that can be pruned into a tidy hedge or clipped to make topiary shapes such as globes and pyramids.
Your landscape designer will fine-tune the plant selection for species and cultivars that thrive through the winter months in your climate. With careful planning, the landscaping will remain an attractive asset to your property throughout all the seasons of the year. To get started, contact a landscaping company like All Season Landscaping.Share