For most, especially for those who have to face harsh winters like the people of Stouffville, winter can be a brutal and ugly time. The greys, the muted colours, darkness tends to surround and embody the season in general. For most, the winter time pales in comparison to the beauty of the other three seasons. In short, winter is widely considered to be the ugliest time of year.
However Winter, for some, can be a very beautiful time. Snow drifts twinkling in the sunlight, the very same sunlight shining through the icicles off the tree branches. Who is winter the most beautiful for, one may ask? The answer is those that put the time and effort into making their property as winter friendly as possible.
This is actually the second part of an already existing article that we wrote about beautifying ones yard for the winter, so those that want to see those should check out part one. However, those that have already read part one should continue on for MORE winter landscaping beauty tips.
Remember The Hardscape
We all know one cold bitter fact about winter- everything dies. The garden (if the plants in the garden aren’t winter-safe) is going to be decimated, most of the trees are going to lose their leaves, and what was once a green bed of grass is going to turn into a white tundra. These can all be detrimental to the beauty of ones garden, however there is a piece of anyone’s property, especially their yard, that isn’t going to die during the winter. That, dear readers, is the hardscape.
Benches, walkways, patios- all these aren’t going to go away during the winter. Sure, like everything else they may be covered in snow, but a quick shovel here and a quick shovel there can take care of that problem real quick.
There is also the deck- the ultimate place to hang out during the summer. However, when the chills start to come about, the deck turns lonely and desolate. How can this be mitigated?
Non-slip decking can be installed to ensure that the ice and the water of winter don’t become a safety hazard for those who choose to use the deck. Heaters, lights and outdoor seating (with cushions or they tend to become too cold) can change the deck to a place no one dares venture during the winter to a cozy little nook in ones backyard.
What else… we mentioned earlier walkways and benches, and the importance of those cannot be understated. These pathways and places to rest give the winterized backyard a sense of adventure, and distracts from the desolate white that usually accompanies the winter. Also, the shades of grey that usually accompany the stone clash very well with the aforementioned white.
There is, of course, the ultimate piece of winter hardscape- the fire pit or chiminea. Not only is it not going to go away in the winter, it actually makes hanging out outside in the winter tolerable. One would have to check their local laws regarding things like fire pits and chimineas, however if fire pits aren’t allowed chimineas often are.
Gazebos, arches, even things like retaining walls can add a bit of life to a garden that is otherwise looking dead in the winter! The best thing that one can do is combine a couple of these options. It’s our opinion that one cannot go wrong with the addition of a chiminea to a deck, a move that would up the coziness factor of any deck by a bunch!
Try Different Tree Barks
In the last article, we talked briefly about the winter safe plants one could decide to put in their garden should they still want life in their yards during the winter time. However, there is a very specific type of plant that could really brighten up a garden come winter- the tree.
Yes, we are aware that the leaves of trees fall off when the autumn season hits. Yes, we are also aware that autumn comes before winter, so come winter time the leaves will still be off. Yes, we are also aware that the leaves do not tend to grow back until the spring.
But perhaps it’s not the leaf of the tree that one should be focused on, but rather it’s bark. The bark doesn’t fall off during the winter, and can be integral in adding some colour to one’s garden.
There are plenty of examples out there of trees that can beautify one’s garden. Trees that have wonderful colourful trunks that can add a splash of gorgeousness to an otherwise ugly, winter backyard.
The tree we are going to highlight today is called the “Midwinter fire”. As the name would have one believe, the trunk is red. Imagine it- a veritable fireworks display of redness in the backyard of every homeowner, gardener or landscaper! And even though red may not be the best colour for everyone, there are so many trees that look beautiful in the winter to choose from!
Get Wild- Try To Draw Focus Away From The Winter
The hardscape of ones backyard isn’t the only thing that doesn’t melt in the winter. One can really go wild with the kinds of stuff they can use to make their gardens or yards beautiful in the summer.
For example, lawn ornaments and statues can give ones yard or garden a sense of fun and class. The eye will be pulled from the dead snow all around should it instead see a fun garden gnome or a cool statue of a lion.
Birdhouses are also a great way to add some beauty to ones yard. Not only that, but they also serve as a great way to see (what else) birds! Suddenly one’s backyard isn’t just a backyard, it’s a veritable menagerie of the local wildlife!
But the average homeowner, landscaper or gardener can really get weird and wonderful with the stuff they use to beautify their yards or gardens. Mirrors add a sense of space, and can distract from the death all around them. Pieces of metal can be used as not only an interesting talking piece, but as a reflector of light as well. Pinwheels, strange modern art, odd lights, ribbons, all these and much more tend to survive, sometimes even thrive in the winter. Also, they are great ways to make ones backyard look a lot better when the weather turns cold.
So what have we learned today from this article? We learned about the important part hardscape plays in the steps towards winter beautification, and how it will not melt in the winter so it’s one of the best bets to put in one’s backyard. How about trees, we learned that choosing the right colour of bark can add some much needed vibrancy. Finally, we learned just to go wild- add any decoration to the yard to make sure that in the winter it looks beautiful! The bottom line is this- the winter can be a much more beautiful time. All we have to do as homeowners, landscapers and gardeners is put in the effort.