The colder weather of late fall and early winter strips away leaves and flowers from plants, leaving what look like “skeletons.” But with a little creativity, it’s still possible to bring an apparently dead landscape to life and create a genuinely enjoyable outdoor environment.
1. Add focal points
These could include sculptures, arbors, ponds, boulders or even colorful containers. Features such as these become the center of attention and cause less pleasing ones (such as bare trees and shrubs) to fade into the background.
2. Reimagine color and form
The one surefire way to perk up a cold-weather landscape is by adding a few sturdy evergreens. If you plant evergreens behind leafless deciduous trees and shrubs, their bold greenness can help bring out the sculpted beauty in the branches of “bare” plants.
3. Consider the power of fragrance
Plants like witch hazel have a sweet fragrance no matter how cold the weather gets. Sweet box adds a pleasant vanilla scent into the air and also produces bright black berries that provide additional color.
The one major positive about a cold-weather landscape is that once leaves have fallen, you can see more clearly how you should prune your deciduous trees and bushes. A good rule of thumb to follow is to cut out branches that are crossing or rubbing against each other and to avoid cutting back new growth.
Late fall and winter can produce exciting new landscapes – if you know how to take advantage of what you have.