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Winter in the Landscape

Want to liven up the winter?
Landscapes are usually designed and installed in the growing season with little thought of how they can contribute to the winter season. Here's some tips on how to remedy that oversight...
#1 Foliage. Evergreens are the backbone of a winter landscapes. Nothing more attractive in the winter than a snow covered conifer. But it's not just the conifers. There are some deciduous trees that hold the marcescent foliage through the winter. A young White Oak, for instance, makes a nice contrast to evergreens.
#2 Stems. Some trees contribute by texture. A fine textured plant has small stems closely spaced together. Plants with a bold texture have fewer larger stems. You will want a variety of texture but keep just enough distance between fine and bold to accent the character of each. If mixed too closely, you will end up with a disheveled appearance.
#3 Bark. Some trees have ornamental bark that is very attractive after a fresh snowfall. One of the best is the reddish colored bark of the Paperbark Maple.
#4 Outline. Think of the plant's overall shape and how that can contribute to the view. Remember, variety is most pleasing in the landscape. Round shapes, columnar, conical...
#5 Background. Blue sky is a perfect blend to a snow covered tree. Or falling snow... or even the grey sky of an overcast day.