Brighten up Your Winter Landscape

The late winter landscape can be a bit dull, but with spring around the corner (thank you, Phil!) here are a few ideas to brighten up your winter landscape for next year.

Trees and Interesting Bark

Many oaks like red, pin and sawtooth have a wonderful habit of holding foliage through much of the winter. This adds visual texture to our woodlands and creates a wonderful sound as winter breezes rustle through the dry winter leaves. Fruit color and texture can be introduced with Hawthorns. While some are thorny, their tightly branched habit adds a fine textural aspect to the landscape that is contrasted brightly by its apple red fruit. Other textural contrasts can be introduced with River Birches and Paperbark Maples. While both trees offer nice fall color much of their aesthetic is found in their form and cinnamon exfoliating bar, a true plus for livening-up the winter scenery.

Evergreen Foliage

Consider rhododendrons and laurels for their evergreen foliage and full canopy; it’s always nice to have some green during the winter.

Colored Stems

Bright stem color can be introduced with red and yellow twig dogwoods which contrast boldly in the winter with their tightly clustered and brightly colored branches.

Red Berries

Other choices for foliage and fruit color are hollies. Varieties can be in tree or shrub-form and regardless of habit they all add rich textural foliage and bright red berries into the winter landscape, a true plus for us and birds. I couldn’t blog about this topic without mentioning my all-time favorite, Winterberry. This is a deciduous shrub holly that makes up for its lack of winter foliage with an abundance of brightly clustered red berries which can persist through winter assuming the birds don’t eat them first.

 Lighting is another great way to brighten up your winter landscape.

Think of your current landscape as a blank canvas and be sure to incorporate some of these ideas during your spring planting season.

Paul Lepard, RLA, PP is a principal at Nave Newell and director of the firm’s Land Planning and Landscape Architecture Department.

To learn more about these services, contact Paul at plepard@navenewell.net or 610.265.8323.

Follow @NaveNewell on Twitter or LinkedIn for regular landscape design and planting tips.

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