The trees have lost their radiant fall foliage, the tulips and daffodils are tucked underground and asleep until spring, and overcast winter days can make everything feel bland and monochromatic.
If you find yourself counting the minutes until color and life return to your landscape, we’ve got some ideas that can completely change how you think and feel about the winter months. We bet you’ll find that winter can be beautiful, too, and may even look forward to the changes and unique interest it brings!
If you’re looking to spruce up your winter curb appeal and bring some natural beauty back into your days, try these ideas and let winter show you its true colors.
Bring On The Berries
From Firethorn to Winterberry (and a whole lot in between), there’s a plethora of berry-bearing plants and shrubs that can add a brilliant pop of color to your winter landscape. Berries are especially beautiful and dramatic against a monochromatic landscape, where their reds and oranges will really stand out.
As an added bonus, they serve as food for birds during barren months, which means not only will berries add their own color, but they may just invite the gorgeous plumage of bluebirds and cardinals into your yard. Color, texture and life… exactly what your winter landscape needs!
Remember Your Summer Containers
Containers aren’t just for spring and summer blooms. That big empty planter you have sitting on the porch, the decorative wheelbarrow you’ve placed in the front yard, the hanging baskets that are now filled with dead vines… with a little TLC they can be just as vibrant in the winter.
Fill them with winter evergreens like the blue-green needles of a miniature spruce or the bright sheen of holly leaves and watch the transformation take place right in front of your eyes. Add a couple of twinkling outdoor lights even after the holidays have passed and you might just be surprised by how cozy and inviting this simple touch will feel.
Even a few branches and twigs arranged in your favorite planter will add height and texture and can do wonders for an otherwise dull winter porch.
Run Your Pond
You may have prepped your pond for the cold by cutting back marginals, over-wintering lilies and shutting down your waterfall, but a pond can bring motion, texture and visual beauty to your home all year long.
Fish will naturally become inactive during cold temperatures but you can encourage activity with a heater that keeps the pond at a comfortable temperature for koi and other fish. That means you won’t have to wait until spring to enjoy their colorful antics!
Even if the temperature falls too low and fish retire to sleep it off, you can still maintain the beauty of your pond by letting your waterfall run all winter. It takes a bit of maintenance, but it’s worth the effort.
A winter waterfall can create some stunning water-and-ice formations, and the juxtaposition of running water against the stillness of snow is truly a sight to behold. There’s nothing quite like the motion of water to attract attention, add to curb appeal and soothe your mind.
Fan The Flames
The weather outside may not be frightful, but cold temperatures alone are usually enough to keep people indoors. What a shame that the opportunity to enjoy a winter landscape is lost!
Turn winter on its head by enjoying a fire pit even when temperatures dip. There’s nothing like the crackling of a flame to brighten up even the dullest winter evening, and you might be surprised by just how much warmth that fire can throw. Bring a mug of hot chocolate and a comfy blanket and the back yard may just become your new favorite winter getaway.
Depending on your landscape layout, your fire pit may not be visible from the street, so if you’re looking for instant curb appeal, try a freestanding patio fire pit. It’s lightweight, mobile and is sure to draw the neighbors out of hibernation when they see firelight dancing in your yard.
Shed Some Light
Landscape lighting is cited by many surveys as being one of the single most important features that homeowners look for when it comes to curb appeal.
The dark days of winter make an ideal backdrop for outdoor lighting, whether it’s to provide a safer stroll on an icy walkway or to bring a sense of warmth to a cold evening. But landscape lighting is a lot more than a few bulbs along a pathway.
With the right layout, you can strategically and effectively use light and shadow as design elements that bring tremendous visual appeal. From “washing” your home in light, to creating the effects of moonlight, to highlighting points of architectural or plant interest or simply bringing your pond to life even at night, landscape lights are a winter homeowner’s best friend.
Pay Attention To Hardscapes & Décor
Sometimes a good year-round landscape isn’t about the plants and trees, but about the things in between – stone pathways, patios, rock gardens and other hardscapes. Instead of mourning your sleeping peonies, try capitalizing on the timelessness of natural stone.
The steadfast beauty of a rock wall or the textural appeal of stones piled purposefully in a garden can add a much-needed focal point to a flat winter landscape.
Other landscape features, like archways, trellises and arbors, benches, sitting stones or sculptures, can also add unique appeal any season of the year. They’re especially noticeable during winter when there’s less competing foliage.
And just because you’ve closed up the birdbath, don’t neglect other yard décor! Bold or shiny landscape ornaments, brightly colored planters, charming window boxes filled with winter bloomers like Hellebores, statues atop stacked stone walls – all of these can make a picturesque addition to your yard and have a tremendous impact on curb appeal – not to mention your state of mind.
So the next time you’re feeling a case of the winter blues, try these ideas and transform your landscape from “blah” to brilliant. A good outdoor space is designed to be enjoyed all year round. Get in touch with us if you want to explore the ways that you can enjoy yours.