Winter doesn’t need to be a boring time in the garden. Changing seasons gives you a chance to appreciate the details in your garden landscape that you often miss once the leaves are out.
A few winter stars will take center stage and look best against snow and blue skies:
Start with one or several blue-silver Colorado Spruce and, trees with colourful or tactile bark: Paperbark Maple, Paper Birch, colored-twig Dogwoods, a Crab Apple or Strawberry Tree will act as an anchor for the rest of the planting.
Mid-level shrubs that are blooming in Winter such as Witch Hazel or shrubs with berries: Winter Berries or interesting evergreen leaves such as Boxwood, Ilex / Holly or Bay Laurel can be a fantastic underplanting.
Low-growing ground cover such as Snowdrops, Lenten Rose, Crocus and Winter Aconite or foliage such as Bergenia Cordifolia should be planted in generous numbers, anywhere from fifteen to thirty young plants at least to make an impact. The same is true for other plants and shrubs: as more are planted from one type as greater the visual epiphany.
Prepare Your Garden for Winter and Spring
- Don’t cut down late fall blooms, especially not Sedum Autumn Joy or ornamental grasses. They are show pieces in frost and snow.
- In areas where it snows all winter, all the available water can freeze, which makes finding drinking water a challenge for birds. Ensure regular visits from a variety of birds by using a bird bath with a warmer, or even a simple heated dog bowl to provide a steady source of water.
- Plant lots and lots of bulbs, fifty to ninety of each for Daffodils, Tulips, Allium etc.
And if you live in the UK, don’t miss to visit these gardens in Winter, recommended from The Guardian:
Cambridge University Botanic Garden
A south-facing valley makes the most of the winter light.
Sir Harold Hillier Gardens, Romsey, Kent
Features more than 650 plants that shine in winter.
Wakehurst Place, West Sussex
Beautiful winter beds and a host of witch hazels and daphne.
Bodnant, Conwy, Wales
A winter garden that opened in 2012 is already captivating visitors.