Maintaining a Winter Landscape

Southeast Louisiana has had a few white Christmases in the past, but the coldest weather still is mild when compared to other parts of the United States. Nevertheless, winter landscaping tips can help maintain a lively landscape as the temperatures drop and nights freeze. With having many snowy winters, Barbara Pierson, nursery manager at White Flower Farm in Litchfield, Connecticut shares simple landscaping tips.

Savannah Holly berries

Savannah Holly berries

Add winter interest to any landscape with just a few things.

Focus on bark
Deciduous trees lose their leaves in wintertime, leaving their branches and trunks in focus. But that can be a good thing, Pierson says, "if you have any interesting ornamental trees that have really visually distinctive bark, which will end up adding winter interest." Birch trees offer both texture and color throughout the year.

Include berries
Many trees and shrubs have berries they hold onto during fall and winter, and those can provide food for birds overwintering in the area. A holly offers its evergreen foliage as well as bountiful berries, adding pops of color to a winter landscape. Pretty Trees Nursery offers a variety of hollies ranging from tall Savannah trees to dense Nellie R. Stevens shrubs.

Remember evergreens
Evergreens serve many functions in addition to Christmas trees. Flowers and berries adorn many varieties, including Camellias, flowering shrubs perfect for Louisiana. Evergreens just make good design sense, Pierson says. "They are really important for a winter landscape, but they make good focal points all year-round," she says. "I always like to have at least one or two evergreens and work a border around those. When you are planting a new bed, you always want to have at least one evergreen."

Rely on your hardscape
Winter is a good time to critically assess your landscape, figuring out where it's missing focal points. The solution to enhancing your winter landscaping might not be a plant at all. "Winter is the best time to consider hardscape," Pierson says. "A trellis, a bench, an arbor, even a garden sculpture are really essential."

Adorn your summertime containers
Window boxes, hanging baskets, winter-hardy containers: All are indispensable for winter landscaping. You don't have to spend money on plants, Pierson says. "Fill containers with evergreen boughs of different textures and colors and interesting twigs," she says, "anything with color in it."

For more pictures from winters at Pretty Trees Nursery, visit the fall gallery.