Winter Landscape Design and Winter Landscape Photos
Popular Plants for the Winter Landscape
The winter landscape photos in the resource above may spur you to add visual interest to the yard during the snowy months of the year. In addition to growing trees and shrubs with evergreen foliage, do not forget to grow plants with other, perhaps less obviously "colorful" attributes.
Readers Speak: Ideas for New Year's Resolutions
As with the above entry, the idea here is to learn from others (or teach them!). Part of "winter landscaping" is making resolutions for the new year about what you're going to do in the yard come spring. Planting a particular shrub and redesigning a flower bed are examples of resolutions for the new year popular with landscaping enthusiasts.
Poinsettia Plants - The Christmas "Flowers" That Are Not Really Flowers
Poinsettias are another plant associated with the holiday season. Being sub-tropical plants, of course, your enjoyment of them in winter is strictly limited to the indoors, if you live in the North. But many plant-lovers in cold climes get a January "plant fix" by admiring the beauty of the poinsettias they received as holiday gifts.
How to Build a Snowman
Learn how to build a snowman in this tutorial. You may think you know all there is to know on this subject, but I offer some pointers to make the job easier or improve the finished product that you may never have thought of. For instance, if you're working alone, I advise you on how do you stack a heavy middle ball on top of the first ball.
Create an Ice Palace
Sherri Osborn, About.com's Guide to Family Crafts, makes an odd request of the people she knows. She asks them not to throw away their containers. Why? Because Sherri will take the containers off their hands and use them to freeze blocks for the ice palaces she builds! Read her full article for all the steps involved in creating ice palaces for the winter landscape.
Ideas for Recycling Christmas Trees
Would you like to have a "green Christmas" by recycling your Christmas tree? If you put your mind to it, you can formulate all sorts of uses for it. At bottom, a Christmas tree is a big piece of wood (the trunk) with smaller pieces (the branches) radiating from it. And wood is useful! But if you've had too much eggnog to "put your mind to it," just steal some of my ideas, instead.
Brighten Your Winter Landscape Design With Winterberry Holly
Winterberry holly ( Ilex verticillata ) is not your typical holly. If you have decorated with holly for Christmas, then you are probably used to the evergreen kind. But this native of Eastern North America is deciduous. Do not underestimate it on that account, though: with its bright red berries, winterberry can bring cheer to your yard after...
History of the Christmas Tree
Whether you wish to recycle yours or not, it is only fitting that you learn something of the history of this symbol of the season. Christmas trees were not without controversy even before our secular Western world began debating "Christmas tree" vs. "holiday tree." The debate goes all the way back to when Christianity had just begun to establish...
I am not a big fan of snow. But even I have to admit that winter landscapes can be lovely. These photos will give you ideas for turning your yard into a wonderland. Planting evergreen shrubs and trees is a no-brainer, but tall ornamental grasses and even hardscape features have much to contribute, as well.
"Merry Christmas" scenes run the gamut from the understated (maybe some laurel roping wound around a deck railing) to the over-the-top (a whole troop of Christmas inflatables partying the night away on the lawn). Since I do not know your personal tastes, all I tried to do in these photos was to capture a representative sample of Christmas yard...
How to Shovel Snow
This season is about more than just decorating and planning for next year's yard. Old Man Winter sees to it, here in the North, that there's some snow to remove. I still prefer good old-fashioned shoveling myself, which is doable on my own property (a small yard). If your preference and situation are similar, then learn about the best way to...
A classic choice for a Christmas tree, you can grow Colorado blue spruce as a living Christmas tree to enhance your winter landscaping for years to come. In fact, these needled evergreens are attractive year-round and, planted en masse , can even serve the practical function of a windbreak. And deer tend not to eat them because of their...
The Holly and the Ivy
There's a tradition (especially in the U.K.) of bringing sprigs of holly and ivy indoors for Christmastime. We enjoy their greenery while waiting for spring's return. Holly, of course, is also an important plant for winter landscaping. This article on "The Holly and the Ivy" looks at the plant symbology with which these plants were invested in the past.
Winter Landscape Design and New Year's Resolutions
When the hustle-bustle of the holidays is over and the realization that you're in the dead of winter sets in, do you feel depressed? Rouse yourself out of your torpor by devising ways to improve next year's yard, not only in terms of winter landscape design, but for all 4 seasons. Make it a sort of New Year's resolution.
Natural Outdoor Christmas Decorations
While a child's idea of a wonderland may be a lawn-full of inflatables ranging from Santa Claus on a motorcycle to penguins inside a giant snow globe, many adults prefer more of a low-key approach to decorating. Do you feel that "natural" is the way to go, as in evergreen plants? This article lists some choices.
Outdoor Nativity Scenes
While Catholics should know all about outdoor Nativity scenes, others may be curious as to just what they are all about (e.g., in the more elaborate set-ups, a variety of figures appear with whom you might not be familiar). Then there are the terms used in conjunction with these displays -- terms that, for moderns, can be somewhat mysterious.
Christmas Holly in History, Landscaping
If you are more interested in evergreen hollies than in the deciduous winterberry, this article is for you. Learn about some of the types (from tree-form to shrub-form) of holly -- and some of the ways you can put it to use -- on Page 2, after I open the article on Page 1 with a fascinating tidbit of holly lore.
Dwarf Alberta Spruce Evergreen Trees
Another candidate for a living Christmas tree is the dwarf Alberta spruce. Festoon these evergreens with red bows to create instant holiday cheer in the yard! But remember, just because this "dwarf" tree may stand 3 feet tall when you buy it, eventually it may grow to be too big for tiny spaces.
Dwarf English Boxwood Shrubs
English boxwoods are useful year-round as hedges, but during the holiday season their evergreen branches can be clipped and used to make "Christmas tree" topiaries. And although starving deer will eat just about anything, boxwoods are relatively deer-resistant.
Attract Birds for Winter Scenery
The best winter scenery comes on wings. I'm talking about the wild birds. And you can plan your winter landscape design so as to attract wild birds to it -- beyond what you would get otherwise, that is. One plant that will attract robins and bluebirds in late winter is sumac.
Colorful flowers look wonderful in a yard. But they're just a distant memory in winter. Foliage plants (i.e., plants grown primarily for their foliage) offer visual interest over a longer period of time. Those that are evergreen (and especially the taller specimens) inject much-needed color into the winter landscape.
Pussy willows are not foliage plants, as they are grown for their catkins. Do you have any on your property? A great time to prune pussy willows (to keep them manageable) is after the delightful catkins have begun to unfurl, in late winter. Bring them indoors and enjoy the cheer they bring! Or if you can't wait that long, learn how to "force"...
Inflatable Christmas Decorations
Are you decorating your winter landscaping for your children this holiday season, or for yourself? Because, let's face it: adult tastes and juvenile tastes sometimes clash. You may think a plain wreath on the door is plenty festive; but your children may not be satisfied until the whole lawn is smothered in inflatable Christmas decorations!
A Living Christmas Tree
Steve Nix reviews a book here called Christmas Trees -- Growing and Selling Trees, Wreaths, and Greens, by Lewis Hill. Growing your own Christmas trees can save you money. And the trees you leave outside can add visual interest to the winter landscape, even increasing the real estate value of your property.
Winter Landscape Photos: Snow Scenes
Helen South, About's Guide to Drawing and Sketching, offers these winter landscape photos for inspiration. Perhaps you can incorporate some of these elements in your own yard to transform it into a wonderland. Or if the idea of drawing snow scenes really grips you, follow the "Drawing Snow Scenes" link underneath the gallery.
Ice Sculptures the Easy Way, Using Ice Sculpture Moulds
Perhaps you see ice sculptures being made by artists using chainsaws and think, "I could never do that." Well, there's another way to make your own ice sculptures that will be the talk of the neighborhood. Use ice sculpture moulds! This Web site sells ice sculpture moulds. You may even decide to go into business with these: ice sculptures currently are popular at events such as weddings.
Fall Gardens: Preparing Your Yard for the Winter Landscape
As I was saying, winter is not all fun and games (hardly!). Worse yet, some of the chores necessitated by Old Man Winter's arrival must be done when it is still fall. I'm talking preparation. What should you be doing in your fall gardens to prepare for the transition to a winter landscape? Find out here.
Readers Speak: Best Christmas Yard Decorations
Christmas yard decorations take many forms, and you can get ideas by learning how other people spice up their landscapes. Some people prefer the natural look in Christmas yard decorations, while others adore such ornaments as airblown inflatables.
Ice Sculpture Art - Ice Sculpture Championship, Fairbanks AK
If the above entry impresses you, you may even wish to take it a step further and enter competitions! Ice sculptors from all over enter the annual ice sculpture championships in Alaska. On a smaller scale, you can breathe some energy into your own winter landscape through ice sculpture.
How to Dress a Snowman
I like to dress up my snowmen in the traditional manner. Of course, traditions vary, but what I have in mind when I say "traditional" is something along the lines of how Frosty the Snowman has been portrayed over the years in movies, art, storybooks, etc. Here are my tips for decorating a snowman in the classic style.
How to Make a Pipe for a Snowman
Making a snowman can be great fun for the whole family. Focusing on getting all the details correct can help pass the time on an otherwise gloomy winter's day. One thing a classic snowman needs is a suitable pipe. If you do not have a real pipe to use, learn how to make one, yourself.
Build an Igloo for the Winter Landscape
Sculpting with snow is not limited to making a snowman. A fun project to do with the kids is to sculpt a snow house. A snow house (or igloo, if you're more adventurous and have the right snow conditions) makes a bold and appropriate statement in a winter landscape desperate for decoration.
How to Make a Snowman Hat
Do you want your snowman to wear a hat? Of course you do: you don't want him getting cold, right? But the question is, What kind of hat? And once you choose a type of hat, you'll have to decide whether you want to appropriate an existing hat or make your own (if the latter, you can make use of recycled materials).
Evergreen Shrubs: Mountain Laurels
Like boxwood and holly, mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia) is a broad-leaved evergreen. And like those other two evergreens, laurel can be used to decorate for the winter (the branches are used for garlands of "laurel roping," and it can also be used in wreaths).
Kissing Under the Mistletoe
Mistletoe can be fun stuff, but it is a mixed bag. The kissing part is fun, and so is the history behind this wacky plant. Studying mistletoe lore brings us face to face with mysterious Druidic rituals and quirky Norse myths. But for practical landscaping purposes, it is important to note that mistletoe is a parasitic plant.
Ice-Melt Products: Salt for Ice Melting
As inconvenient as snow can be, ice may be worse. It is certainly more dangerous, being even more slippery than snow. But spreading salt to melt ice on the driveway, etc. poses challenges of its own. Which brands are pet-safe? How will you spread it? If you'll be using a spreader, how well will you be able to control it, lest salt damage your...
Evergreen Trees for Winter Landscaping -- Nellie Stevens Holly
One of your choices in evergreen holly plants is 'Nellie R. Stevens', a holly popular in the Southeastern U.S. It comes in both shrub-form and tree-form. Nellie's lesser-known male consort is 'Edward J. Stevens' holly.
Top 10 Great Ornamental Grasses for Winter Landscapes
Marie Iannotti prefaces her Top 10 list of ornamental grasses for winter landscapes by observing, correctly, that they may actually be at their best in winter. That's right, brown, beaten up and begging to be trimmed, ornamental grasses offer the yard much-needed structure and texture from December to March. That's why I prefer to hold off on trimming them till early spring.