Designs on Winter

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Designs on Winter – Landscaping in the “Off” Season

Even though winter is the part of the year when we spend most of our time indoors, gardens are still part of our life.  Winter is a time for contemplation about last season’s beauty and planning for the seasons to come.  Consequently, our Central Virginia gardens are often best designed when they are at their most stark – winter.  Naked.  Without the usual lush, herbaceous adornments.

Although our gardens are always changing with the seasons, the most dramatic change comes when trees lose their leaves.  This alters the whole proportion of the garden, but makes for a clearer view of your landscape topography.

Observing and planning your garden in winter also offers the opportunity to see the barest of spaces to give you a chance to boost the cold weather landscape to enjoy for future winters.  For example, adding an evergreen hedging shrub such as American Boxwood (Buxus sempervirens), Pfitzer juniper (Juniperus chinensis ‘Pfitzerana’) or Otto Luyken laurel (Prunus laurocerasus ‘Otto Luyken’) and massing them with some fiery red-twig dogwood (Cornus sericea ‘Cardinal’ or even the yellow-tinged ‘Flaviramea’ cultivar) adds real punch to an otherwise barren corner of your yard.  Not only do they provide the visual aesthetic, but the wildlife will also appreciate the fruit and habitat.

Of course, you can do plenty of design work during the growing seasons, but examining your garden during the winter months makes good use of what is usually considered “down time” for landscaping.  Barring severe weather, you can even get a start on land clearing and certain hardscaping plans, such as stone patios or free-standing and retaining walls.  Plus, because landscaping schedules are less hectic in winter, it will allow you and your designer a chance to get a jump on spring and beat the rush of warm weather panic and already-booked landscape installation calendars.

“I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape – the loneliniess of it, the dead feeling of winter.  Something watis beneath it, the whole story doesn’t show.”  Andrew Wyeth, American artist

Crataegus 'winter king' berries



**Designing and scheduling your landscape or hardscape installation for the month of February may qualify you for a 5% discount.  Call 434-973-1154 for details and mention this blog.

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