Home Gardening 7 Tips for a Spectacular Winter Garden: Color, Scent, and Interest All Season Long

7 Tips for a Spectacular Winter Garden: Color, Scent, and Interest All Season Long

by Donna
4 minutes read

7 Tips for a Spectacular Winter Garden

Winter gardens can be just as beautiful and interesting as summer gardens, if you know how to choose and care for the right plants. Here are seven tips to help you create a winter garden that will add color, scent, and interest to your yard all season long.

1. Feed Your Plants

Just like plants in the summer, winter interest plants need plenty of food to stay healthy and vigorous. Fertilize your plants in the spring and summer to ensure they have the nutrients they need to produce beautiful blooms and foliage in the winter.

2. Clean Your Trees

The bark of birch trees and other trees with ornamental stems can become covered in green algae and dirt over time. To keep your trees looking their best, wash the bark with a mild soap and water solution in the winter. This will help the tree trunks and lower branches gleam all winter long.

3. Prune Shrubs for Stem Color

Some shrubs, such as dogwoods and willows, are grown for their colorful winter stems. To keep these shrubs looking their best, prune them annually to remove older stems. Older stems tend to lose their color with age, so frequent renewal pruning will help the plants stay vibrant.

4. Feed Pruned Shrubs

Shrubs that are hard-pruned to produce colored stems need extra food to help fuel this new growth. In the spring and summer, feed these shrubs with blood, fish, and bonemeal. You can also mulch them with manure in the spring.

5. Choose Your Position Wisely

When planting winter interest plants, be sure to choose a location where they will be clearly seen and enjoyed. Don’t hide them behind other plants, especially evergreens. Place them in a spot where you can easily admire their beauty all winter long.

6. Leave Seedheads on Plants

The dried stems and seedheads of many plants add architectural interest to the winter garden. They also provide food and shelter for wildlife. Leave the seedheads on your plants over the winter to enjoy their beauty and benefit the wildlife in your yard.

7. Plant in Winter

You can plant new plants in the winter to add instant interest to your garden. However, if the ground is too wet or frozen, plant your new plants in pots and keep them in a protected area until spring.

Bonus Tip: Help Wildlife in Winter

Winter can be a tough time for wildlife, so it’s important to do what you can to help them survive. Here are a few things you can do:

  • Put out supplementary food for birds, such as peanuts and fallen fruit.
  • Leave seeds on herbaceous plants and shrubs for birds to eat.
  • Keep bird baths topped up with fresh water.
  • Float a tennis ball or similar object in ponds to prevent them from freezing over and provide a place for amphibians to hibernate.
  • Create hibernacula, or small piles of stones, in a cool spot to provide shelter for amphibians and insects.
  • Tie up bamboo and sunflower stems in a sunny spot to create nooks and crannies for insects to hibernate in.
  • Soak a clean sponge in a solution containing an equal mix of sugar and water to provide food for insects.
  • Leave out cat and dog food for hedgehogs.
  • Check bonfires before lighting them to make sure there are no hedgehogs hiding inside.

By following these tips, you can create a winter garden that will add beauty and interest to your yard all season long. You can also help the wildlife in your area survive the winter.

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