Those of us in less temperate climes can face long winters.
Spending the off-season looking out at an unrelieved expanse
of snow or the frost-hardened ground can make it seem even longer.
That's why people are paying more attention to what their garden
looks like in winter, and adding form, movement and color to
liven up the scene.
Bird feeders top my list of winter must-haves. Birds bring color and movement into the garden. In addition, well-selected and well-placed feeders make their own visual contribution to the landscape.
Touches of Green
Evergreen trees and shrubs are next on the list. They also add color,
form and texture (not to mention shelter for feeder-visiting
birds). Evergreens come in several shapes – vertical, mounding,
narrow, triangular, round – and offer hundreds of choices suitable
for virtually all climates.
In colder regions, stick to hardy conifers – cedars, pines, spruces, junipers and their kind. Gardens with deep snow cover will need large or tall selections, while areas that receive less or intermittent snow can include dwarf cultivars.
Gardeners in milder climates have the bonus of broad-leafed evergreen choices, such as boxwoods, hollies and rhododendrons. Of these, some cultivars will survive in cold gardens, but they generally require swathing in either snow or burlap, thereby negating their aesthetic appeal.