Winter is coming, and for many of us, it’s already here in full force. Depending on where you live winter can be a brutal experience, or it could mean just a small drop in temperature, but here in Minnesota we usually experience multiple feet of snow yearly.
The key to creating and maintaining a beautiful winter landscape is preparation; you need to take the time to prepare your garden for what is about to come. This means arranging things so that maintenance can be done easily and choosing products and plants that make sure that your landscape still looks beautiful in the cold.
Factor in Snow Management
In Minnesota, we get vast amounts of snow, and one of the most important landscaping tips is to factor in the snow management that you’re going to need to do. Wide driveways are the best because they make it easy for plows to enter and clear the road, ensuring that you can get to and from your car safely.
But all of that snow needs to go somewhere, and that’s why it’s so important that you leave some room on either side of your driveway to store snow. Although it can be nice to set up borders and trees alongside your drive, it’s not practical if you get a significant amount of snow in winter.
Finally, try and avoid using smaller plants and ornaments which can easily be hidden by the snow. These are going to be incredibly easy to break, and if you’re hiring a snow management team, they aren’t going to know where those things are located.
Brighten Up with Some Lighting
Winter can be relatively bleak and with a flat white color outside it’s difficult to create a landscape that you want to stare at and admire. Fortunately, modern technology comes to the rescue. Beautiful LED lights can bring your view to life, giving color to what would otherwise be a barren sight.
These lights are particularly great if you have something to illuminate, like a giant tree, ornaments or a feature piece in your garden. Don’t be afraid of incorporating colors, but resist going over the top and using multi-colored lights.
Heat Up Your Pathways
Walking in winter is one of the scariest things that you’ll ever do, a small slip could put you in the hospital or at the very least leave you with a wet patch on your back. You can prevent this relatively easy by setting up heating elements underneath your paving slabs, this will warm them slightly, just enough to cause the ice to melt and the snow to thaw.
Ideally, you should do this will a paving slab rather than concrete or cement, paving slabs tends to transfer heat better and they are relatively thin.
Implementing this kind of system after you’ve already created your landscape can be costlier, so, if possible, try and get it done before you lay the paving stones.
Remember to Water Plants
Many of us forget that our plants still need water in the winter and if it doesn’t snow or rain they can get extraordinarily dehydrated. The icy winds can blow a lot of that water away, leaving a dry soil behind which isn’t ideal for your plants of grass.
If it hasn’t rained or snowed recently, you should water your plants, shrubs, flowers, and grass the same way that you would have done in fall.
Retain an Interesting Landscape
Finally, most people’s landscapes suffer tremendously in winter, leaving them with something boring and ugly. This is primarily because they choose ornaments and plants that look great in the summer and spring, but that shed and look gloomy through the winter months.
To combat this, you need to be tactical in the way that you design your garden. There is nothing wrong with having some summer trees as long as you don’t mind their bare look in winter, but you should counter this with evergreens.
Evergreens are the perfect winter tree, they will keep a full appearance, and they often look even better with a fresh cover of powder on them.