Who? Us?

We are two disabled, oldish women who have been adventuring through life for years. We are talking about how disabilities, both visible and not, change the way we enjoy our retirement.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Landscaping in Winter?

Ya know winter either has arrived where you live or it’s arriving soon. My last career was as a landscaper and here are a few things I picked up along the way.

I’ll add a few photos from tropical New Orleans just to make you remember summer and how short it was.

Do you look at your landscape in winter and just see ugly brown or worse yet, see a constant cover of ever greying snow?  You can make your yard much more pleasant if you do a few things when planning and installing it early on. You can also add some ‘bones’ to the garden now to make it look nice in all seasons. 

All gardens must start with ‘bones.’  These are the trees, shrubs, walkways, statuary, or benches that define the garden’s shape and stay in place year-round. Add  arbors or trellises to the other hardscape . Even in winter the vines that grew up the trellis or over the arbor add interest with the vines’ skeletons until they green up in the spring. 

Paths can give your garden interesting angles that frame the beds, now white or brown. Plant shrubs that are berry producing along the paths, so birds will visit. That adds both color and movement to the winter garden. 

Evergreen trees keep your landscape green and look wonderful with a blanket of snow. Or cut a few branches and use them in window boxes or planters. They will stay green for weeks.

The water feature can also be a focal point in winter. The fish can’t be seen and the waterfall is silent, but ornamental grasses add movement and structure to the winter landscape. If you leave a hole in the ice, birds and other wildlife will stop by for a drink.

Statuary creates focal points in the garden. Depending on your garden’s formality or casualness, the statues can be obelisks or whimsical children at play. Regardless of the statuary you choose, be sure it fits where you put it. Most of the time a formal statue does not work well with an informal one.

Add interest when the snow falls or when the entire garden turns brown as it does in the warmer zones. Add a bottle tree, a Southern garden tradition. A bottle tree consists of bottles on tree branches, either real or manufactured. The bottles are usually blue. The noise of the wind over the bottle openings are said to keep the ‘haints’ away. 

Exterior pottery can hold interesting sticks from the garden. When the snow settles on the sticks, the result is an ever-changing sculpture.

The garden is rarely green and colorful in the winter, but it can be made so very interesting by using your imagination and spots of movement and color.

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