What’s blooming now in Northeast Georgia? Not much. (Thank goodness for pansies!) But the late fall/early winter season is actually a great time to get intimate with your garden and your overall landscape. It’s a chance to take in the lay of the land, the natural curves and bends, the gentle slopes and, yes, even the warts (utility boxes, propane tanks, garbage cans).
Seeing your property in the buff—without the cosmetic benefits of colorful blooms and lush greenery—can help you appreciate the beauty and opportunity in its foundation. You might even see ways to enhance it by adding some “good bones” for structure, like steps, retaining walls, a deck or patio or other hardscape features.
So, go ahead, put on a warm coat and wander around your yard. Notice how it feels to be in the space. Is there a sense of flow that encourages you to walk from one area to the next? Are there focal points that beckon you closer? What views can you see that you don’t notice in the spring and fall? Could you make changes on your property that would allow you to enjoy vistas in the distance?
With most of the leaves and color gone, the winter landscape helped reveal to a North Georgia client how selectively removing a few trees and adding a new hillside patio at just the right spot would maximize the view of the peaceful inlet at their waterfront Lake Lanier home.
The “bones” of the landscape, like these flagstone steps we built for a client in Gainesville, provide structure and architectural interest on the way to the front door, especially in the winter, when the garden doesn’t have as much going on. They’re so much more welcoming than a plain old, concrete sidewalk.
A walk through your garden or yard in the cold months can give you wonderful ideas about making your outdoor spaces more enjoyable year round. Use your imagination to envision what could exist in the barren spaces.
Features like stone and brick structures, fountains, pools and ponds, statuary, garden benches and fire pits can function in different ways depending on the season and the design goals. They can be bold cornerstones in winter landscapes, and when the colorful blooming seasons return, they can become irresistible sirens, demurely coaxing their admirers to explore and discover the sights and sounds they highlight.
What does your naked landscape reveal to you?