> Landscape Design for Four Seasons

Winter is a great time to start thinking about what landscaping projects you want to tackle in the spring. Taking a look at your current snow-covered yard may also give you some ideas for plantings and hardscaping that will enhance your winter views next season.

If your current landscape is an expanse of white, you might consider some plantings which offer interesting lines, forms, textures, or colors. To create depth, use a variety of shrubs and evergreens. As a general rule, the darker and more solid the geometric shape, the more weight the planting appears to have, whereas lighter and abstruse shrubs appear to have lift. Plant your largest pieces first, and then pepper in other plantings based on your determined landscape horizon.

Good landscaping is like art. The eye of the observer should be drawn from one focal point to another. Varying heights are usually more interesting than a straight line. When planning for a landscape that looks great throughout all four seasons, you want to think about what each plant looks like with and without its blossoms and leaves. Certain shrubs change color in the winter, and some even bloom, so it can be useful to research what thrives in your area. Here is a good place to start.

Your yard is your paradise; pick colors and textures that are pleasing to you. Fences and stone walls can create a beautiful rustic environment especially when dusted with snow. Plants with berries can offer a pop of color to break up your snowy canvas. Trees with spindly branches look visually interesting when covered in snow. If you enjoy wildlife, research what plants can draw certain animals to your yard. Birdhouses are easy ways to do this. Just be aware of pests that could damage your plantings and plan accordingly!

Think about what work you might like to do on your own, and what you might want to hire a professional for. Talk to landscaping companies and garden nurseries to get an idea of costs. Prioritize your design ideas to figure out a budget range. Stumped for inspiration? Head on over to a site like Pinterest to see what other DIYers have done to spruce up their yards.

Always consider the long-term and keep in mind that some plantings require more maintenance than others. Certain plants cannot thrive in winter and must be taken indoors. There are plenty of resources at your fingertips, but it can never hurt to consult a professional. Happy planning!

Resources to Get You Started:

Fine Gardening – 10 Plants for Year-Round Containers

How Stuff Works – Top 10 Winter Plants

Bless My Weeds – 10 Winter Friendly Plants for Your Outdoor Areas