While it seems highly unlikely to have a nice winter garden, a winter garden is not only feasible, it can also be stunning. Forms, textures, colors and contrasts are the most important design elements to remember when cultivating a winter garden. Learn more about what can be grown over the winter in your garden.
How to Grow a Winter Wonderland
It’s easy to grow a winter garden. There are a variety of plants and accessories in your winter garden landscape that can be included. The garden’s most dramatic change comes as trees start to lose their leaves. After the fading of flowering bulbs and other plants, the garden takes on another aspect of spectacular foliage exhibits in shades of yellow, green, red and purple.
The various shades produced by evergreens also enhance the scene. While trees and shrubs are common elements in fall gardens due to their brilliant foliage or late blooms, they can also offer additional interest during winter. In fact, witch hazel’s yellow blossoms are not only interesting in the fall but also highly fragrant, and its scent is even stronger in the winter.
The trees and shrubs provide more than just colour or fragrance; they can also create different shapes and texture for the winter garden landscape. You should pay attention to the fascinating characteristics provided by their exfoliating bark when selecting trees and shrubs. Bark that peels or is patterned with a mysterious twig color can be quite captivating even during the darkest winter daysWith their peeling bark, river birch and paperback maples are of note, while the colorful bark of red-twig dogwoods and mahogany-colored crabapples fill the winter garden with an extra color splash.
During the fall, numerous perennials flower and give extra attention throughout the winter. These are some of the best evergreen plants to add contrast and color to your winter garden design:
- Mountain laurel
Seed Heads and Berries
Although most flowers during winter may be rare, their berries still prevail. Hollies are rich in berries and giving their spiky leaves added interest. In the early winter, many viburnums retain their berries. Berries supply color and interest with shades of red, purple, and yellow. There are also many ground covers available that produce berries and have colorful leaves.
Another aspect of winter garden shrubs and flowers comes from interesting heads of seed. Unlike browned bits of sedums, rudbeckias and coneflowers, for example, hydrangeas also hold the remnants of flower heads.
The same happens to many ornamental flowering grasses, providing additional structure. Although ornamental grasses generally reach their peak during fall, they can also add texture, volume and color when growing a winter garden.
Other Winter Accents
While winter garden plants will offer unique elegance to a garden in winter, adding garden decorations such as benches, fountains, urns and statues will also inspire and attract attention. Weather-resistant accents make strong statements in winter; however, to avoid a cluttered appearance, these garden features should be used sparingly.
In addition, placing outdoor lights in the landscape can provide additional enjoyment while highlighting these focal points.
So now that you know what can be grown over the winter in your garden, you can start growing a winter wonderland that suits your needs. A winter garden packed with interesting elements not only brings natural charm, but almost every winter garden concept can bring uplifting elegance.