Landscaping Design With Winter in Mind

November 29th, 2019
How to landscape design for the Vancouver winter garden

Talented landscape designers design for all of the seasons—including winter. If you’ve never considered the importance of winter design, here are some of the things that we keep in mind.

1. Scale

The scale of the trees, shrubs, and plants will still be noticeable in winter. Some plantings may drop their leaves, but not all of them will. We think about what will be bare and how will it look next to things that are not bare. What will still look tall? What will still look wide?

2. Evergreen

What plantings will keep their leaves, and what will not? Since most of the Vancouver and lower-mainland area is roughly a Hardiness Zone “8,” we’re fortunate to have lots of evergreen choices available to us. Your winter garden never needs to be completely bare.

3. Color

Some plants and trees have interesting colors in their leaves or stems or branches when it’s cold. This can add interest to the winter garden.

4. Texture

Even if plants drop their leaves, stems and branches can have very interesting textures, like peeling bark that will lend interest in the winter.

5. Wildlife

If keeping or attracting wildlife in the winter is important to you, there are choices we can make in plantings that will help. There are some shrubs that have berries in the winter for animals to feed on. There are even trees that don’t drop their fruits, like the “Dolgo” crabapple tree. There are deciduous trees that hold on to their old leaves until spring, like a species beech tree.

6. Seed pods and other

Plenty of plants both annual and perennial can still look attractive, even if what’s standing is dead. Poppies, for example, can have large, interesting seed pods to look at even if the flower stalk is standing dead. Pampas grass or Cortaderia selloana has giant plumes of feathery seed pods that will last all winter if you leave them alone.

Landscaping is our business, and we design and install landscapes to be appreciated in all four seasons. If your winter landscape isn’t what you’d like it to be, contact us, and let us improve it.

Scotty Atkins has been working in residential and commercial landscaping for over 20 years all over greater Vancouver. Scotty and his team can create anything you desire including seasonal plantings, water features, and cutting gardens. If you have any questions about this article or would like to talk to Scotty about your project, call him anytime at (604) 312-8924.

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