Discover 9 ways to make your winter garden more beautiful, functional and inviting to wildlife.

With a little bit of effort, gardens can be just as beautiful through the coldest months of the year as they are during the warm season. Stripped free of deciduous leaves and showy flowers, winter gardens shine with subtle textures and the stately forms of evergreen trees and shrubs. Here are a number of ideas to make the most of your garden during the winter, including ways to brighten garden beds, and top choices for flowers that bloom over the holidays.

1. Celebrate texture. With a dusting of frost over a muted winter garden, one’s eye is drawn to the different textures in the landscape. To highlight texture, choose a variety of plants with different growth habits, such as fine-textured grasses and sturdy-branched shrubs. For most climates, it’s best to wait until spring to plant, but winter can be the ideal time to make a plan and choose plant varieties. Here, delicate branches, round seed heads from summer flowers, and wispy tufts of ornamental grasses create an interesting play of textures.

2. Showcase garden structure. Winter gardens can have quiet, peaceful simplicity. Clean up moldering warm-season plants, and spread a fresh layer of bark to accentuate the geometric forms of evergreen shrubs and trees. Take advantage of the absence of perennials to reassess areas of the garden that could benefit from evergreens planted for privacy screening in spring.


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