Plan Now For Winter Wonderland Landscapes

One of life’s simple pleasures in this part of the country is sipping coffee on a wintery Saturday morning and gazing out the window to our backyard landscape. That is, if there’s something out there to gaze upon, and most of our yards could use some winter improvement.

winter 6Winter reveals the patterns of twigs, the shapes of trees, colorful branches and interesting bark textures against a perfect backdrop of snow. Bright fruits cling to snow-covered branches.  winter 2

It might seem like an odd time to be thinking landscaping, but now is the ideal season to stare out your windows and plan spring additions. Begin by looking out the windows that give your most frequent outward views. Often it’s the patio door, kitchen window or living room view. Decide where interesting plants, shrubs or trees could be added to enhance or create a pretty winter view. Make a few notes, unless your memory is much better than mine.

Here are a few ideas to  help create a winter wonderland landscape:

  • Combinations of evergreens contrasted with bare twigs are appealing. Evergreen foliage ranges from silver-blue to dark green.
  • Pyramidal, columnar arborvitae provide strong evergreen beauty when added among rounded shrub and tree types.winter 9
  • Redtwig dogwood shrubs are a classic vivid color contrast against snow.
  • Bright berries of Amercan cranberrybush viburnum cling to the branches all winter.
  • Twigs of winged euonymus (burning bush) have fascinating corky, angular ridges.
  • Scotch pine is a  hardy, well-adapted evergreen tree whose orange bark and branches are highly decorative.
  • Bur oak is not only a long-lived tree, but the corky bark adds winter interest.
  • Copper Curls tree lilac is a wonderful NDSU introduction with unbelievably decorative bark.
  • Birches are famous for their bark, but for well-adapted versions, seek Prairie Dream paper birch, Prairie Vision Asian birch, and Northern Tribute river birch. All are NDSU introductions with outstanding winter landscape appeal.
    Scotch Pine Bark
    Scotch Pine Bark

    Copper Curls Tree Lilac
    Copper Curls Tree Lilac

Our Saturday morning coffee will taste all the richer with an intriguing winter landscape to view. All from the comfort of a favorite chair.

Until next time, “Happy Gardening!”winter 8winter 10winter 3