Great landscaping does wonders for the appearance of a property. Vivid color and a variety of foliage are inviting and a pleasure to view. Unfortunately, once the growing season ends and warmer weather gives way to cooler temperatures, much of that color disappears.
The good news is that winter landscapes do not have to be gray and boring. With some skillful use of plants that withstand cooler temperatures, it is possible to have interesting and creative surroundings despite cooler weather – and enjoy the added benefit of a jump-start on spring!
Wintertime Maintenance for Best Spring Blooms
Just because the weather is getting cooler does not mean landscaping work stops. Before a deep freeze, bulbs for the following season can be planted and fed, provide nutrition for strong, healthy roots.
December and January when it is too cold for planting is a good time to aerate lawns and planted beds. This provides room for decomposing plant matter and roots to spread.
It is also the best time to fertilize any hardy varieties braving the cooler temperatures so they have the necessary nutrition to thrive despite the cold.
Plant Hardy Cool-Weather Varieties
In Texas, although it gets cold, it doesn’t get so cold that everything dies or is completely barren until April.
This provides the opportunity to dress up off-season landscaping with colorful plants that stand out in comparison to empty beds waiting for spring.
Following are some ideas as to what can be planted in the cooler months:
Ground Cover – A great way to get some color into landscaping that lacks the brightness of spring and summer is to use cool-weather ground cover varieties, such as Ornamental Kale with splashes of pink and lavender; Alyssum, which blooms in white and pink through colder seasons if kept shorter; and Cyclamen, a surprisingly hardy reddish-pink flower that sometimes blooms through April. Sweet Pea is another flowering plant that is good for ground cover, edging, and filling spaces with fast-growing, fragrant flowers that like to climb. It will outlast most other blooming plants when the days get shorter and cooler.
Blooming Colors – Getting the most out of colorful, cool-weather landscaping is possible with other, hardy blooming varieties, like pink Dianthus that stays shorter than its warmer-weather relatives yet blooms in winter; Calendula, which can sometimes withstand short spurts of below-freezing temperatures; and Cornflower, in striking blues and other colors that thrive in cooler weather. Flowers that give more beauty for the buck also include Snapdragons, which may die off during the heat but bloom again late in the season, and certain Pansies and Violas that can flower all winter.
Landscaping – More Than Just Flowers
The harshness of winter can reduce flowers and plants; however, things other than flowers can create beautiful landscaping. Fall and winter are the best times to get creative with garden ornaments, seasonal dried arrangements, holiday groupings, gazing balls, and other colorful additions.
Accent lights strung around fixtures or along walkways can bring attention to surviving foliage. Accentuate plants and garden features with elements that add color and feeling, making winter landscaping just as unique and beautiful as summer.
There are many options when living in Texas to keep landscaping lively and beautiful all year. With the right plants, proper care, and attractive seasonal outdoor decor, any home can be the most well-dressed, welcoming home on the block – even in winter.
Best of all, extra care given to shrubbery and flower beds will keep them active all winter – and bloom that much sooner when warmer weather plants arrive!