For plant lovers, there is never a down time to thinking about landscape projects. Early winter is usually the last opportunity to interact with the landscape before the snow really begins to fly. Although you are probably weary from keeping up with the fall clean up, cutting back perennials, planting bulbs, splitting firewood, and hanging holiday decor, this time of year can provide a unique opportunity to view your landscape in its dormant state. Those boring areas begging for improvements can be noted and earmarked for spring improvements. The guaranteed forced confinement that comes with every winter can be put to good use to ponder, hash out, discuss, and finalize designs so you are ready to spring into action as soon as the seasons change!
Acquiring plants and putting them in the ground is a simple concept. However, factoring in plant species, hardiness zones, sun exposure, soil quality, drainage issues, and long term maintenance can make things rather complex. Consulting with a professional is the fastest and easiest way to come up with a realistic design that will achieve your goals and ultimately grow with your property over time.
Consider the lists below to identify areas in need of improvement and begin moving toward a solution.
Recognize areas in need of improvement:
- Under-utilized or unused
- Dull or boring/lacking color
- Exposed or unsightly
- Grading/drainage issues
- Old/tired landscaping
Use the list below to help better identify these areas and get creative juices flowing:
Add evergreen species to:
- Draw attention away from that boring fence
- Stop the feeling of your neighbors being right on top of you!
- Dull the sound of the busy road and provide a natural barrier for kids/pets
- Block the unfortunate location of that telephone pole, electrical box, or ac unit
- Allow natural light into a room without feeling completely exposed
Create hardscape / outdoor living spaces:
- Update old or crumbling walls and patios
- Create a proper outdoor entertainment space
- Add a unique paver driveway or cobble edging for flare
- Get more usable space by terracing slopes and unnatural hills
Choose plants that bring year-round interest:
- Winter flowering or fruiting species
- Exfoliating/interesting bark
- Unique silhouettes or structure
Proper planning and professional help can get your landscape on the fast track for spring improvements, so when summer comes around you can watch your neighbor struggle to install hydrangeas from your new patio!