In what feels like the blink of an eye, my first gardening season at the inn is coming to a close. Leaves are falling, blanketing the gardens for a long winter nap and wiping the slate clean until another busy spring season awakens.
I must admit I have a love‐hate relationship with Old Man Winter. As much as I love giving my back a break and taking in the beauty of white, glistening snow covering the landscape, toward the end of February I become an impatient, sometimes irritable individual awaiting bright sunshine and t‐shirt temperatures.
That “snow” word has entered our local forecast, and soon the rush of the holidays will busy many with indoor décor and shopping. Yet, amidst all the indoor hustle and bustle, there are still ways to enliven and enjoy our gardens throughout the winter season, even if we’re doing so in the comfort of a recliner with a hot beverage and seed catalogs/gardening books!
Below are tips/ideas/projects to keep your garden spirits lifted throughout the chilly season!
Create Winter Containers
You don’t have to leave planter boxes and containers sit empty during the wintery season. Add color, creativity, and interest.
Add Plants with Winter Interest
From dried flowers/seed pods, to colorful fruit, or exfoliating bark, the following list of plants adds excitement to the winter landscape. Take time this winter to plan your new plant additions for the coming year. Then relax and enjoy the added beauty in your winter landscape next winter season.
- Paperbark Maple‐ Acer griseum
- Winter Attribute: Peeling, cinnamon to reddish brown bark
- Harry Lauder’s walking stick‐ Corylus avellana ‘Contorta’
- Winter Attribute: Twisted and spiraling branches. Great for use in winter containers
- Winterberry holly‐ Ilex verticillata
- Winter Attribute: Bright red berries. A great treat for birds
- Witchhazel Hybrids ‐Hamamelis x intermedia
- Winter Attribute: Very showy flowers. Early flowering, late January to March. Available in different colors (dependent upon cultivar)
- Ornamental Grasses
- Winter Attribute: Color, movement, and sound
- False indigo‐ Baptisia australis
- Winter Attribute: Charcoal colored seed pods that rattle in the wind
- Winter Attribute: Persistent color, great to use for cuttings in winter containers. Offer unique textures, shapes, and structures. Great bird havens.
Try Hypertufa Troughs
Create your own cement planters in any size or shape. Texture them and proudly display throughout your gardens. A fun winter project!
Plan, Plan, Plan
Hibernate indoors with stacks of garden magazines, books, and catalogs. Plan for upcoming container plantings, vegetable plantings, new plant additions, etc. Now is the time to catch up on lists, classes, and ideas before the busy spring season arrives!