Unless you live in a warm or mild climate where everything stays green all year, it's easy to fall into three-season landscaping. It can be tempting to forget all about winter because no matter what you do, your landscape will look comparatively barren with deciduous trees in hibernation and flowers died back for the year. Nonetheless, winter has its own beauty, and a careful landscaping plan can keep your house looking good all year.
An easy way to improve winter landscaping is to put out attractions for birds. Bird feeders, birdhouses and birdbaths can attract songbirds to property, burning up the dark recesses of winter. Such features also can serve as decorative elements in a winter backyard landscape. A birdbath that might be hardly noticeable in a lush summer garden can form a central hardscape feature during the cold season.
Choose plants that will look good all winter. Evergreens provide rich, green foliage all year, making them useful for winter landscaping. Add some plants with winter berries such as evergreen holly and crabapples. Some deciduous plants without winter berries still look good in winter. For example, according to Lowes for Pros, a burning bush or Euonymus alata provides interest during the winter in spite of the lack of foliage because of its textured bark and square stems.
In the barren, winter environment, tall trees, architectural features and outdoor elements like benches and arbors can take on a dramatic look. Enhance this look with outdoor winter lighting. Light attractive groupings of branches, barren arbors twisted with sleeping vines and other features of a winter landscape to create interest in the yard. Winter lighting also will extend the short winter day, allowing you to get more out of the landscaping.
Those who live in a windy area can lose a substantial amount of heat from their home because of buffeting by winter winds. Save on fuel by constructing a windbreak on the north, east and west sides of the house. Plant a hedgerow or a stand of evergreen trees to block the building from the wind. For an even better effect, combine evergreen trees with a tall wall or fence or a natural earth bern.