Winter can be an amazing season. So many colors, textures, and scents. So much wildlife, so many opportunities for beauty. Yes, right here in New Jersey!
From the bright red berries of Winterberry Holly to the deep purple of winter cabbage, the gently swaying fronds of Miscantheus Giganteus and the fluttering wings of Cardinals and bright yellow Goldfinch, there’s no shortage of things to love about being outdoors.
But let’s face it – some days you just don’t want to be outdoors. There are those bitterly cold days, or chilling drizzly ones, when you’d rather curl up with a latte than brave the flurries. But even as you stand in your kitchen cooking dinner, or sit in a comfy chair by the fireplace, you can still enjoy the beauty of the outdoors.
Here are some ways you can appreciate the outdoors this season, without stepping a single foot outdoors.
Landscape For The View
When you think about landscaping, your mind may go immediately to curb appeal. And while that’s not a bad thing, it can be easy to overlook one very important fact: your landscaping is for you.
It’s about how you enjoy your space, and what it feels like to be in your yard – and to live in a home surrounded by your yard! If your favorite feature is something you can only appreciate while standing out on the street, you’re doing yourself a disservice.
It may seem to make sense to put a pond way out in the back yard, or plant that gorgeous flower garden where the neighbors can be impressed, but imagine how much more enjoyable it would be if you could gaze out over those features any time of the year.
Bring a pond or waterfall right up to your back door – don’t worry, there will still be room for a patio! Plant fresh herbs near a kitchen window. Make sure you can see that fantastic Red Twig Dogwood when you open the living room blinds.
Think about your yard as just another room in your home. Even though you may not spend as much time in some rooms as others, you still decorate those rooms, choose your favorite paint color, hang your favorite artwork, and keep the door open so you can appreciate it even if you’re not physically in it.
The same should be true of your outdoor “room”. It should look great no matter where you’re viewing it from. Think of your windows as frames that enclose the beautiful artwork of your natural surroundings, where every window of your home is a living, bathing, changing piece of art.
And great landscaping is about making sure you can enjoy the artwork of the outdoors – even when you’re not outdoors.
Bring The Outdoors In
Winter is a great time to bring a bit of Mother Nature inside. If you plan properly, you can overwinter plants like water lilies, or move container gardens with fresh herbs to a warm window ledge.
Warm-weather plants that can do well indoors during cold months include succulents, hibiscus, coleus, and rosemary. And why not grab a few cuttings of some of your favorites and root them for houseplants? That can be a great way to enjoy the fruits of your landscape and practice your green thumb even on the snowiest of days.
Want another winter project? Try clipping and drying some of your favorite blooms for an indoor bouquet. Hydrangea make some of the best dried flowers and can last nearly indefinitely. Roses are charming when dried, as are Starflowers, Amaranth, and Coneflower. And you really can’t go wrong with a beribboned cluster of dried lavender.
Use dried flowers in arrangements, wreaths, topiaries, as edible décor, in teas, or framed in a shadow box to remind you of the lovely landscape outside.
Get creative with what you bring inside. Collect fresh pinecones not only for their special beauty but for the lovely scent they impart. Gather pine branches for seasonal scent and décor, or cluster a few uniquely shaped twigs and tie with ribbon or raffia to place in a tall indoor container.
From fresh plants to crafty décor, you can surround yourself with the beauty of the outdoors in every room in your home.
Give Winter To The Birds
Plenty of our feathers friends remain right here in New Jersey throughout winter. Unlike us, they don’t have cozy living rooms, so help them stay safe and warm throughout the cold months and you’ll make friends for life.
Depending on the birds you’d like to attract, you can offer different types of treats. Sunflower seeds and peanuts are two of the most universally enjoyed meals. Chickadees, Goldfinches, and House Finches will thank you.
Blue Jays and Cardinals are particularly attracted to fruits like orange wedges, apple or pear slices, and grapes. Other entertaining avian friends, like Woodpeckers and the adorable Tufted Titmouse, prefer “suet” – a mixture of beef fat, nuts and seeds.
Don’t just toss a few seeds out on the patio, either. Remember what we said about the view? Install bird feeders within visual proximity of your windows so you can watch the color and beauty of your winter guests as they come and go.
While you’re at it, add a water feature like a small waterfall, fountain, or bubbling birdbath. Birds need water, too, and the sight and sound of water will be just as pleasing for you as you enjoy it from the warmth of your home.
Your landscape is more than just the gardens you plant during spring. And it should certainly be something you can enjoy throughout all four seasons – whether you’re outside immersed in nature, or gazing on its beauty from inside your home.
If any of these ideas have inspired you, contact us for a master planning consultation. We’d love to show you how to bring your lifestyle outdoors – and enjoy it right from the warmth and comfort of your home