Learn how to add texture, color, and beauty to your yard with these six simple winter landscaping tips.




Gardeners in snowy regions have plenty of reasons to get cold feet about winter: Plants are at rest and their bright colors dissipate, leaving a palette of white and gray. And with nothing to plant, they might think there are few winter landscaping tips -- or to dos. In fact, careful planning in spring, summer, and fall -- plus a few easy accents during winter -- can lead to a beautiful landscape that shines against the stark relief of the restful season.


Here are six winter landscaping tips to make you love your yard in every season.


1. Focus on bark. Sure, deciduous trees lose their leaves in wintertime, leaving their branches and trunks in focus. But that can be a good thing, Pierson says, "if you have any interesting ornamental trees that have really visually distinctive bark, which will end up adding winter interest."


Many of those trees and some shrubs are smaller, meaning they're easier to find spots for in the winter landscape. A few of Pierson's favorites include dogwoods and birch trees, great for both texture and color.


2. Include berries. Many trees and shrubs have berries they hold onto during fall and winter, and those can provide food for birds overwintering in your area. "Crabapples hold their little fruit," Pierson says, and they make a great addition to the winter landscape. "A holly with berries is really beautiful," she says.


3. Remember evergreens. Evergreens are great in the winter landscape for many reasons. First, there's color: Evergreens are not just green; they're available in yellow, such as Gold Thread false cypress, and blues, including dwarf blue spruce, and all colors in between. And evergreens just make good design sense, Pierson says. "They are really important for a winter landscape, but they make good focal points all year-round," she says. "I always like to have at least one or two evergreens and work a border around those. When you are planting a new bed, you always want to have at least one evergreen."


4. Rely on your hardscape. Winter is a good time to critically assess your landscape, figuring out where it's missing focal points. The solution to enhancing your winter landscaping might not be a plant at all. "Winter is the best time to consider hardscape," Pierson says. "A trellis, a bench, an arbor, even a garden sculpture are really essential."


5. Adorn your summertime containers. Window boxes, hanging baskets, winter-hardy containers: All are indispensable for winter landscaping. Miniature dwarf Alberta spruce and broadleaf evergreens, such as Japanese Andromeda, holly and rhododendron, are perfect for wintertime, but they all have to be watered during dry periods. You don't have to spend money on plants, Pierson says. "Fill containers with evergreen boughs of different textures and colors and interesting twigs," she says, "anything with color in it."


6. Stick with four-season perennials. Some perennials have evergreen foliage -- ornamental grasses, hellebores, even dianthus with its beautiful low-creeping foliage -- making them great for winter landscaping, Pierson says. "Make sure to read the plant label and find out if the plant has foliage in the winter, so you can see it year-round," she says.

Winter is also a great time to stock up on the nonplant elements you'll need for the next year's garden, Pierson says. "It's a good time to bargain-shop for anything for the garden," she says. Take a tape measure, research plants, figure out seeds you'll need, and write down what worked and what didn't in the current year.




1. Repair Damaged Hardscapes/Stonework

If you have a rough walkway, driveway or patio now, they should be repaired prior to the Winter Season before they become hazard issues.



AFTER


2. Trim Problem Bushes and Trees

The last thing you want are branches to hit your house during a windstorm. Now is the time to inspect nearby trees and shrubs, and cut any low-hanging or dying branches before they can do damage.



3. Spread Mulch to Protect Perennials

Spread mulch among your perennial flowers and plants. This will help insulate them from frigid temperatures and also provides a bit of extra protection against hungry creatures.



4. Winterize Irrigation Systems

In colder climates, your irrigation system should be blown out to remove any water and prevent freeze-ups that can ruin sprinklers. Make sure that you also store your garden hose and shut off the water to exterior faucets, if possible.





The National Association of Landscape Professionals anticipates an uptick in textured plantings, jewel tones, cozy outdoor living styles and lush lawns this season


FAIRFAX, Va. (August 29, 2019) – The National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) announces its official list of the top lawn and landscape trends of fall 2019. Fall welcomes endless opportunities for homeowners to enjoy their outdoor spaces. NALP trends help forecast elements of design and maintenance that influence how Americans will spend their time outside this fall.


“Move over mums and classic orange and yellow color schemes. This fall we expect to see a challenge to classic fall plantings with an increasing number of textured plantings and jewel toned hues debuting in backyards across America. These newer participants complimenting traditional mainstays of autumn will be joined by comfortable outdoor living styles and quests for lush lawns this season,” says Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for the National Association of Landscape Professionals. “As homeowners look to extend their time outdoors, they are considering how simple lawn care fundamentals and landscape design can make an immediate impact on their yard heading into fall.”


In fall 2019, NALP predicts the following four trends will influence outdoor spaces around the country:


1. Rich, Textured Plantings – Fall provides the opportunity to refresh garden beds and container gardens. Before relying on the comfort of traditional mums, experts recommend consideration of ornamental kales, cabbage and peppers, as well as snapdragons, pansies and grasses to add rich color and texture. Homeowners should also consider texture while interiorscaping, the art of purposefully planting indoor greenery. Succulents can add life to a garden bed or apartment terrace during the warmer months and add a trendy, textured green vibe during the fall and winter months.  



2. Pops of Jewel Tones – Classic fall colors like red, yellow and orange will seek competition from crisp and sophisticated jewel tones this season. Sapphire blue, emerald green, amethyst purple, ruby red and citrine yellow all bring warmth to fall landscape design. Experts recommend adding pops of jewel tones to outdoor living spaces with unique container gardens, decorative furnishings and accessories, eye-catching sculptures and seasonal plantings such as pansies, celosia, dianthus and black-eyed Susan.



3. Cozy, Comfortable Outdoor Living – After enjoying sweet summertime, fall allows homeowners to transition their landscapes and utilize features that are not always top-of-mind during warmer months. Fire features continue to rise in popularity. From one-touch natural gas or propane ignition to traditional wood-burning fire features, homeowners can heat up chilly fall nights with ease and ambience. This year, pergolas gained popularity and we will see their lifespan continue in the cooler month with the help of retractable canopies and heating systems. Signature features, like fire features and pergolas, complimented by comfortable seating and attractive and aromatic plantings and jewel tones will bring resort like comfort to homes across the country.





4. Healthy, Lush Lawns – Americans love their lawns. A recent national survey conducted by Engine’s CARAVAN Omnibus on behalf of NALP found 77 percent of Americans report relaxing in their yards at least once a month. Well-maintained lawns support the well-being of neighborhoods and allow communities to connect, play, celebrate and unwind. Fall is one of the most critical seasons for preparing lawns and landscapes for year-round health. By working with a professional on essential fall lawn care needs homeowners will see a plethora of benefits come spring.


The voice of the landscape industry, NALP develops its trends reports based on the expertise of professionals from around the United States supporting Americans’ growing passion for evolving the tried-and-true elements of landscapes: well-maintained lawns, outdoor living spaces, fire features and more. The landscape trends are also influenced by broader lifestyle and design trends.


Fall is often the forgotten season for yard care, but it is one of the most critical seasons for lawns and landscapes. Homeowners should work with a professional to think beyond raking leaves and properly prepare their yard for the winter months.