Looking for winter landscaping ideas to add color to your garden? If flowers are a garden’s only source of color, landscapes can look boring and dreary in fall and winter after the blooming stops. I can show you how to keep your landscape colorful even in the colder months: use shrubs and trees to add cool blues and greens and splashes of rich red and yellow.
Take a look at this picture from Gibbs Gardens, in Ball Ground, Ga., for examples of interesting, colorful landscapes that don’t over-rely on flowers. Gibbs adds color with red Japanese Maples, yellow false cypress, yellow and green junipers, grasses, and variegated iris.
Keep in mind that a little color goes a long way. Red and yellow are warm colors. They excite the mind, attract attention, and make everything seem closer, so use them sparingly. Blues and greens are cool colors; they are relaxing and calming and tend to recede into the background. I use mostly blue and green shrubs and trees mixed with a little yellow or red.
Here is a simple, elegant use of winter color from the North Carolina Arboretum in Asheville. The photo, taken in January, shows light-green and blue-green shrubs contrasting with a red- branched maple.
Below, imagine how these sun-loving plants would go together in beautiful color: Cryptomeria and Blue Star Juniper for green and blue with Loropetalum for the red accent:
University of Florida Extension has some great general ideas on how to use color in your landscape:
- Look at the color of your house and other features. You can extend the building’s color into the yard or use colors that contrast with the color of the house. If most of your plants are near your house, contrast may be a better choice.
- How do you use the landscape? Frequent parties and entertainment call for bright and lively colors to add energy to the party. Contemplative gardens favor cool, soothing colors. Light colors usually work better in the shade; darker, brighter colors show better in the sun.
- Consider the garden style. Many garden styles—such as tropical (bright, hot colors), cottage (pastels, spring colors), or contemporary (metallic, unusual colors)—have a characteristic color palette. You don’t have to use traditional color schemes, but doing so would stay true to the style.
- Your color choices will depend on the plants that will grow best in your yard and the availability of plants in local nurseries.
Now you’ve got some ideas about how to add color to your landscape in the fall and winter months. You can see you have lots of color choices even when flowers aren’t an option. So go ahead – splash some color on your landscape.