Winter Garden Art – Beyond Garden Gnomes, Snowmen and Inflatable Santas

by Rachel Laurendeau on December 20, 2012

We all go to a lot of effort to keep our lawns and gardens looking lovely in the warm months, but then when winter rolls around, it’s like we completely forget that our yards are still the first thing that people see when they drive up to our homes. With minimal effort, it is possible to keep your garden looking beautiful through all seasons.

The Right Plant Materials
When designing your garden and landscaping your yard, it is important to think about how the yard and garden will look when the flowers have faded and the leaves have fallen. Types of plant materials to include for winter interest would be:
• Tall ornamental grasses that keep their seed heads; you will want them to be taller than your average snowfall so that they stick out and wave around in the wind.
• Evergreens – these don’t have to be of a really large scale, you can use shrubs such as cedars, junipers or boxwood
• Deciduous trees and shrubs with interesting bark, shapes or berries – although their leaves may fall in autumn, trees and shrubs like Red or Yellow Osier, Amur maple, Japanese stewartia, or Winterberry have appealing traits that can carry you through with their beauty even the harshest winter.

Sculpture and Art
Including garden art is an excellent way to add interest when the flowering plants have waned.
• Using dark sculptural pieces will give a great deal of contrast against the white or gray/brown background of your winter garden (see blog photo) meaning that your garden art will be more visible.
• Simple garden sculptures and even birdbaths or fountains are transformed and offer an otherworldly effect under a thin blanket of snow. Depending on the climate you live in, you may even be able to keep your fountain or pond running to add movement and interest to the garden.
• Subtle glass globes hung from tree branches or garden globes and gazing balls can add color and light to an otherwise dreary landscape.

Since the days are shorter in the winter, ensuring that you have adequate landscape lighting will also help to make your yard and home more welcoming.

If you take pride in your yard in the summer and invest time and money in your  lawn care and landscaping, a simple home improvement such as adding a few elements for winter interest, in addition to timely snow removal can help you take your garden the extra step that it needs to keep it looking appealing and artful all year.

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