While winter weather sometimes prevents us from enjoying our gardens outdoors, and our plants slumber waiting for the spring bloom season, we can still dream, envision and plan. Here are some tips to get you started.
1. Take notes (and photos!)
Be sure to take photos of your garden before, during, and after you make changes (including adding and removing plants) and in every season. These photos will document events that occur over time, so you can decide where you want to make additions or deletions. They will also show you how quickly change occurs and plants grow. Use this plan as a guide for the New Year when choosing new plants for your landscape. Knowing which plants will thrive (right plant, right place) can save you time, money, and disappointment.
2. Add some evergreen structure: Winter is the perfect time to evaluate the layout and design of your garden. Once deciduous trees and shrubs shed their leaves (with the exception of beech trees and a few others that hold on to their foliage until early spring) you can see the framework of your garden. Are there evergreens that enhance the space and provide enclosure? They don’t have to be tall; even waist-high shrubs will help define your garden space and serve as a backdrop for your herbaceous plants. Check out this garden plan featuring Yewtopia® Plum Yew.
3. Feed your soil.
If your green thumb is itching to touch the soil, give your plants a headstart this spring by spreading a layer (about 1 inch thick) of compost in your garden beds. Keep it away from stems and trunks. Your plants will thank you with lush, healthy growth in the spring.
4. Reduce the size of your lawn.
Enlarge your planting beds to reduce mowing time and create a more water-wise landscape. Once established, shrubs and perennials require fewer resources — ie., water and fertilizer — to survive and thrive. Try this late-season garden plan starring October Magic Camellias.
5. Add some fragrance to your garden.
Plan to position your favorite fragrant plants along paths or walkways, making it easy to access their perfume. For an evergreen shrub with deliciously scented flowers, try Jubilation™ Gardenia.
6. Plant some spring bloomers.
Planting bulbs, perennials and shrubs will give you something to look forward to. Can you plant in winter? You can plant anytime the ground isn’t frozen, as long as the plants are appropriate or hardy in your USDA hardiness zone. (Not sure? Find your zone.)
Happy Gardening to you, friends!