10 Tips To Make Your Garden Look Better In Winter

Japanese quince in blooms.

The time of winter is when your garden flowers start to look a little bit sad. You notice some of your flowers have turned brown and crispy, which makes you wonder how exactly you can make your garden look better in the winter?

Some may not care how their gardens look in the winter but others who truly care for their gardens like to see them prosper all year-round.

Gardens are versatile and have a wide range of diversity. Each distinct design, fragrance, colors, and textures attract both animals and humans.

No doubt, a garden has stunning features when it catches your eye as you go driving around the neighborhood.

When you look at your garden carefully, you’ll always find elements that are in tune with what you love about it. You will find it fascinating, regardless of whether the landscape is simple or designed extravagantly.

Unlike summer, not many plants flower in winter, but your winter backyard doesn’t have to be boring. There are a few winter-flowering shrubs and trees that add a splash of color to your garden when most of the surrounding ones turn to gray.

Here are a few landscaping quick fixes to make your backyard garden look better, even during the winter season.


10 Tips To Make Your Winter Garden Look Fabulous

In the winter, most plants are at rest, leaving a palette of white and gray. But careful planning and considering a few accent plants can lead to a beautiful landscape. This will allow your backyard garden to shine against the stark relief of the restful season.

Yes, simple concepts can make a huge difference in your winter garden. And taking advantage of winter colors will help the landscape stand out and be visually beautiful.

Berrying shrubs like holly, cotoneaster, and pyracantha can brighten up a plain-looking garden in the middle of the cold winter season.

So let’s get down to these 10 winter gardening tips!


1) Prepare Your Garden For Winter In Advance

Some damaged branches among dead or dying trees are dangerous when the storms of winter bring harsh winds, ice, and snow. They can cause possible hazards both to the plants and humans when neglected.

Preparing your garden in winter by pruning dead branches will help you remove any possible hazards. This will prevent deadwood from compromising your safety, your property, and your loved ones.

And giving your shrubs and trees maintenance and care as the temperature starts to cool will ensure your safety.

Besides, this will help keep your garden healthy, and the landscape looking cleaner. It will bring the trees and shrubs back to life in the spring.

As the deciduous plants and trees have their leaves fall off in the dormant season, it makes the tree structure more visible. Leafless branches make it easier to cut and improve their shape.

Also, trees like elm, oak, and infected trees are best pruned in winter to minimize the spread of fire blight and wilt.

Adding a thick layer of mulch in your winter garden will lessen water loss and inhibit weeds. Moreover, mulch can help regulate water temperature, saving the plant’s roots from chilling.

Before winter, you’ll also want to consider the amount of sunlight, rainfall, and wind as they vary from season to season. This way, you can protect the plants from harsh weather and make your garden look better even in winter.


2) Dress Up Your Beds and Borders

Though not many plants flower during the winter, there are a few flowering plants that are excellent choices for winter interest.

Utilizing dwarf varieties of vegetables in container pots or some smaller shrubs are great options as they are easier to find a spot in your winter garden.

Besides, aside from flowering plants and winter shrubs, there is a wide range of herbs and vegetables you can plant in fall that feature beautiful hues too. This also adds splashes of colors and contrasts to your winter garden.


3) Imagine How Your Garden Looks at Night With Lights

String lights hanging on a large tree overtop of a bonfire area.
Image by: bobvila.com

In winter, there are more hours of darkness than daylight. And adding the right type of lighting can make your landscape stand out in the neighborhood.

If you have a spacious backyard, you can focus on lighting up a few significant areas. It is best to light up only spaces that look good both indoors and outdoors rather than overcrowding the whole backyard.

Lighting up every bush and tree in the garden is not necessary. Doing so may likely spoil the beauty of your garden landscape.

Try to imagine how your garden will look as you sit outside relaxing. You can also add a fireplace in the backyard garden.

It will provide a cozy feeling and warm comfort as you sit and spend time at night and make your colorful and vibrant winter garden the envy of your guests.

Lighting is another approach you can take to enhance the beauty of your winter garden. It helps welcome visitors up the driveway when you place some on a tree or even light walkways with fairy lights.

Unless you live in regions where the winter sun is weak, placing solar lights strategically in your garden is a smart idea.

All you need is to add lighting that will enhance and make your garden look better, and need not worry about the energy costs.

Solar lights can absorb heat during the day and power the lights at night. This will create a stunning and sparkling winter garden, making the nights enchanting the whole winter season.

Hang lanterns to provide subtle illumination in the garden at night. But choose lights with a warm glow to cheer up the cold and cheerless atmosphere of white snow in the evening.


4) Consider an Outdoor Heater

A patio heater in winter
Image by: bestofmachinery.com

People who love to stay outside always find ways to create a comfortable environment even if the cooler evenings start to become the norm in the following months.

Of course, no one likes a gray and a colorless garden in winter. But after putting so much effort into making your garden attractive, you obviously would like to enjoy its beauty despite the cold nights.

Your beautiful backyard garden can make a classy place to entertain guests, and you’d like to continue even during the winter months.

Adding an outdoor heater in your backyard can make the atmosphere warm and comfortable.

Outdoor heaters will, without a doubt, create a livable space for family and friends while in the garden at night.

Moreover, it ensures you can enjoy the night outdoors while remaining cozy with warm surroundings.


5) Add Plants With Colorful Stems

Red twig dogwood plant
Image by: thespruce.com

Transforming your winter garden into a place of natural beauty and lessening that dreariness is not that hard. Planting deciduous shrubs or trees with colorful stems and twigs can create a gorgeous lively winter garden.

Choose colorful shrubs that are winter hardy. These plants are also versatile and fast-growing. They feature stunning fall colors to brighten up the season, while some come in berries and rich and lush foliage.

There is a wide array of colors and textures to add to your garden. You can either grow them in containers or in-ground and make your winter landscape beautiful with such a simple twist.


6) Add a Heated Birdbath

A long-tailed songbird on a white heated birdbath

Adding a heated birdbath to your winter garden will attract winter birds. Also, it will bring even more birding interest and a vibrant winter yard.

Feathered friends like Northern cardinal, red-tailed hawk, dark-eyed junco, and many others can enliven the winter garden. They can make the atmosphere of the garden lovely and more colorful. Plus, they will engrave your garden full of pleasant sounds.

They have natural grace and elegance that provides hours of enjoyable bird watching as they hop, sing, and dance for you and your family.

The heated birdbath in your winter garden can help attract as many winter birds as possible. Just make sure to provide enough water for drinking, bathing, and preening on the coldest winter days.


7) Consider Winter Vegetables

Ornamental cabbage with pink and green leaves

Some vegetables can add color and beauty to your garden during the coldest months.

But apart from adding excellent colors to your winter garden, you can enjoy an adequate supply from your harvest without the need to go to the supermarket for your groceries.

Growing ornamental heirloom vegetables like Swiss chard, kale, and cabbage can add color to your winter garden. Moreover, you can grow several varieties, either in raised beds or container pots.


8) Take Advantage of Beautiful Winter Bark

A woodpecker on top of a leafless tree

Planting a tree with spectacular bark to show off in winter is another way to enhance the look of your winter garden. These barks can make a delightful sight once bare of leaves.

Trees like Tibetan cherry and Prunus serrula have polished mahogany bark adding elegance to your garden.

And trees with ghostly white trunks like Betula Utilisva, west Himalayan birch, and Jacquemontii are also a sight to behold. 

You can enhance the look of your garden landscape by adding garden lighting or creating a winter wonderland to lift the spirit of holidays.


9) Hide Bare Soil with Winter Ground Cover

Cyclamen plant with red, pink, and white blooms

Consider low-growing flowering plants to cover bare soil once perennials have died back in the winter. This will eliminate weeds and help keep the borders of your garden vibrant and blooming.

They can both make the garden look better with lush foliage and fabulous flowers or keep unattractive and resistant weeds away.

Hellebores, often called Christmas roses, bring colors to the shady garden in late winter and early spring. Bugleweed, on the other hand, displays charming pink, green and white leaves.

Cyclamen is a delicate flower yet belongs to the tough perennials that bloom in January and February. And the European ginger flaunts glossy, heart-shaped leaves all through the winter.

In addition, most of the low-growing perennials create an elegant carpet of color. They also give vigor to your winter garden.

The evergreen candytuft likewise boasts of lush foliage in winter and stunning white flowers in early spring.

Also, the wallflower is another cheerful winter garden space filler. It is affordable and can cover bare soil with lush foliage in colder months and burst into bloom in the early spring.


10) Remember Fragrant Winter Flowers

Witch hazel tree

The magical fragrance of winter flowers is one of the fascinating features of a winter garden. The highly scented plants can release an intoxicating scent that draws both animals and human senses.

And planting fragrant winter flowers among paths, walkways, entrances, and doorways will bring pleasure and sweetness to the air.

Plants such as witch hazel, daphne, honeysuckle, and mahonia are only a few fragrant plants. They have delicious, delicate, and gentle scents you can enjoy as you come and go to your property.

It can make your backyard garden function as a romantic place to spend the night with your loved ones. 


Final Thoughts

Colder and shorter days may be unavoidable in the winter months, but it does not mean your backyard has to look bare and gray.

With the right combinations of colors, textures, designs, fragrance, and flavors, you can still enjoy a warm and welcoming outdoor space among the holiday season.

Even in the cheerless winter weather, gardens can draw animals and human senses. A simple twist can make a huge difference in your winter garden.

Eye-catching gardens have unique characteristics that show off. It can be some design, colors, scents, or any elements that draw visual interest.

Apart from adding plants with warm colors to enliven the atmosphere of your winter garden, adding garden heaters or a fireplace in your backyard will create a cozy and comfortable place.

You can spend the night outdoors remaining cozy and comfortable while enjoying the beauty of your garden.

As you add colorful plants or decors to the garden, you might want to consider how your garden looks from the inside of your home.

It is essential as you’ll spend most of your time indoors in the winter months. You would want a landscape that looks exceptional both indoors and outdoors.

And don’t forget the beauty of garden lightings. Adding soft lighting among the landscape will lessen the lonely atmosphere of a winter garden.

The warm yet subtle glow of Christmas lights and garden lanterns can magically transform your dreary yard into a wonderland.

You can either hang Christmas lights around your tree trunks or show off the beauty of traditional lanterns among the branches. Some glow stones on your planters and walkways can also make the landscape stunning at night.

Adding lightings into your garden will, without a doubt, create a luminous inviting setting. Besides, it will lift the spirit of the holidays, no matter how cold the nights are.

About Benita Abucejo

Hi there! My name is Benita Abucejo. What can I say? I truly love spending my days in the outdoors, specifically in the garden. Gardening has always been a strong passion of mine since I was a little girl. It has brought me so much joy and happiness that it is definitely safe to say that I will be a gardener for life. For a period of time, I was able to work with people who are into home gardening and I found it to be quite beneficial to my physical health, as well as my mental well-being. Here at Seasonal Preferences, I am going to share with you my experience and ideas so that you can fulfill yourself with the same satisfaction and happiness. Of course, if you have ideas, I would love to hear those as well! Being creative in the garden can really be quite fascinating so let's share our experiences and be the best gardeners we can be. With that being said, thank you for dropping by and please leave me a comment on one of my posts if you would like to get in touch!

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