Drooping grasses and a snow-laden spruce tree frame an ice-covered pond.
garden, devoid of deciduous foliage, is its naked self in
winter. As such, unsightly objects and design defects usually
masked by vegetation take center stage. Trees and shrubs that
need pruning, walls that need re-pointing and gate hardware
that needs replacement all cry out for attention. However,
winter is also a dynamic period for the garden. Its form and
shape change constantly as frost, snow and ice come and go.
Plants droop with the weight of snow-laden branches, boulders
that made a big impact in summer all but disappear under the
snow and the backyard pool's shimmering water transforms into
a sheet of ice.
Boundaries, Focal Points and Views
In the winter landscape, evergreens such as pines, spruce,
yews, and broadleaf evergreens such as hollies, rhododendrons,
laurels and boxwoods must define garden lines and proportions,
frame garden rooms, borders and walk ways and provide shelter
for wintering birds.
Also, what might be a focal point in the summer may not be
around in winter. This is the case with urns, planters and
sculptures made of materials unsuitable in winter weather.
In their place, trees and shrubs with unusual forms, such
as topiary evergreens, windswept pines or espalier plants,
as well as those with distinctive bark, fruits and twigs take
over. Take care not to plant too many different shapes and
colors of evergreens together, as this can create too fussy
a look in the barren winter landscape.