If you take the time to design your winter garden well, it shouldn’t leave you thinking back to the ‘better times’ of the year when you were enjoying time out there in the sunshine. You should be able to look around at the gorgeous berries, beautiful decorations and frosted flowers and feel a real sense of happiness at what you have created.
During winter the very essence of a garden is laid bare and the base design really stands out because everything else has died back. This bare quality can be beautiful on its own, particularly when it snows.When designing your winter garden it is worth thinking about the structure of it.
If you are spatially challenged potted areas, wall gardens or hedging might be the structure, in larger gardens the trees or sheds/ greenhouses might create it.
Here are some easy ways to create your own garden Winter Wonderland!
Add Winter Flowers
Flowers that bloom in the coldest months are so enchanting, particularly because the rest of the garden is sleeping, so it seems magical anything would come into bloom through the frost and snow. Hellebores are a good choice as they flower for a long time, are pastel pink and white so fit into any garden and the big leaves fill space.
Algerian Iris is another good choice, especially if you want blooms you can cut and bring inside. If you have trees, you may want to opt for the aconite which produces small yellow flowers and thrives in shaded areas creating massive carpets of colour.
Add Seasonal Colours
With your planting, evergreens look fabulous in winter and can provide good edging in a garden that lacks structure during winter. For a true winter wonderland feel, you’re just going to have to plant a fir or three, just be sure to only choose small firs avoiding the giant ones from the 80’s.
You might also want to consider some ivy which will ramble pretty much anywhere, just make sure you keep control of it as it can get out of control easily.
Splashes Of Red
Red splashing through frost and snow looks absolutely gorgeous and should be a priority when you are designing your winter garden. Bark and berries should provide this for you.
Dogwood is a good choice as long as you plant it in semi-shade (or the colour fades). You should also consider a holly tree if you have room, or a similar plant like a Pyracantha which can be arched if grown in pots.
White plants can look haunting and stunning in winter and really add to the winter wonderland effect. Himalayan Birch is a good choice for pale bark, or Clematis is a good idea for bold white flowers.
Inside the house we are used to the smell of cranberry, oranges, spices and musk at Christmas, but outside, the scents are completely different.
Witch Hazel is a good plant to add to the garden for a tasty scent, as is Winter Honeysuckle and Christmas Box.
Attract The Robins
What bird creates a winter wonderland scene more than the humble, red-breasted robin? To attract this gorgeous little creature, make sure you put food out for all the birds, as robins will often come when other birds are visiting a garden.
Black sunflower seeds, nyjer seeds and any fat balls are great, just be sure to avoid dried lentils or any other dried hard foods as only certain species can eat these. Crushed nuts are a fabulous idea and robins are particularly fond of them.
Don’t forget to add your own little decorations to the garden to make it even more special. Tie ribbons to branches, wrap outdoor fairy lights around trees, have cosy knits and furry throws by the back door for impromptu hot chocolate parties in the garden and place wreaths on branches, tables and hang them off doors – your winter wonderland doesn’t just have to depend on nature.