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Winter in the Landscape

Want to liven up the winter?
Landscapes are usually designed and installed during the growing season with little thought to how they will contribute to the winter scene. Here are some tips to help remedy that oversight:
#1 Foliage. Evergreens are the backbone of a winter landscapes. Nothing is more attractive in the winter than a snow-covered conifer. But the conifers are not quite alone. There are some deciduous trees that hold their marcescent foliage through the winter. A young White Oak, for instance, makes a pleasing contrast to evergreens.
#2 Stems. Some trees contribute by texture. A fine-textured plant has small stems closely spaced together. Plants with a bold texture have fewer, larger stems. A variety of texture is a good goal, but keep just enough distance between fine and bold to accent the character of both. If mixed too closely, you will soon produce a disheveled appearance.
#3 Bark. Some trees have ornamental bark that is especially attractive after a fresh snowfall. One of the best is the reddish-colored bark of the Paperbark Maple.
#4 Outline. Think about the plant's overall shape and how that will contribute to the scene. Remember, variety is most pleasing in the landscape. Round shapes, columnar, conical... all can fill their place to produce overall beauty.
#5 Background. Blue sky is a perfect backdrop to a snow-covered tree. Or falling snow... or even grey sky can be pleasing. The point? Open sky behind a tree is usually a great idea especially for winter landscapes.