Five Ways to Create Wonderful Winter Landscapes in New Jersey

Five Ways to Create Wonderful Winter Landscapes in New Jersey

For many landscape enthusiasts, winter is simply a waiting period before spring comes, and with it all of the opportunities for coordinating flowers and trees to create a beautiful scene. Numerous aspects, from the cold to the inclement weather to the natural tendency of flowers and other plants to hibernate during winter, create this feeling of winter as a “dead period”.

However, it does not have to be this way. Winter offers its own possibilities for landscaping, and can provide a unique opportunity to try out different plants and “hardscape” landscaping aspects than during spring or summer. Take a look at these five ways to create winter landscapes in New Jersey, and take advantage of the next several months to build a beautiful winter wonderland.

1. Clean up after fall.

The first crucial step to creating your winter landscape is, of course, to clean up after anything that occurred during the fall season, so that you have a fresh slate. Make sure to rake up any fallen leaves, especially if you have experienced a storm that left debris piled in your yard or other areas of your property. Also check your trees and shrubs; many times, there may be damage that you were otherwise unaware of. Clean any walkways free of leaves and dirt as well.

2. Choose flowers that bloom in winter. 

Several New Jersey plants actually release their flowers during the winter months. This means your landscape does not have to be devoid of color.

The Christmas rose, which is actually a hellebore plant, is suited for USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 4 to 8, and provides beautiful blooming flowers in the depths of winter.

Winter jasmine, a small yellow flower, blooms in January, meaning that you will have this color in your garden until the snows melt and other flowers begin to bloom in spring. This flower grows in USDA Zones 6 to 10, so it will survive the New Jersey winter well.

Witch hazel, which is commonly used as an herb supplement, offers large blooms through fall and winter. There are numerous varieties, although the Jelena sort is the one that is known for blooming in January. Flowers can range from coppery orange to a dull yellow, so take a look at the options, and consider combining colors that match.

Plants that offer berries, such as holly, are also a wonderful option for adding a splash of color to the winter landscape. Holly plants are evergreen shrubs with shiny, spiked leaves and bright red berries. These berries ripen during winter, and are often used as Christmas decorations. However, take caution, as they are toxic if consumed.

3. Take advantage of snow. 

Snow provides a beautiful backdrop to any winter plants or decorations, and even though it might be tempting to clear it away, you can use this to your advantage. Obviously you must clear snow away from any walkways or other areas. But you can leave it dusting any tough evergreen trees that you have, or as a light sprinkling for your lawn. If you have any ponds on your property, you do not need to drain them for the winter. The surface will ice over and melt in the spring, and the pond creatures such as frogs have adapted to survive in the water underneath while the top is iced over.

4. Choose hardy shrubs and trees.

Winter is truly the season of the evergreen, as these trees do not lose their leaves, and are known for surviving harsh conditions. The white pine, a native plant of New Jersey, is one such plant. Its evergreen needles provide a green backdrop to winter snow. These trees can weather snow and cold temperatures without needing too much extra care.

Chokeberry plants, another native of New Jersey, are relatives of roses, and can also survive through winter weather relatively unscathed. These deciduous shrubs are usually found in swamps and other damp areas, and can be cultivated for ornamentation or food purposes.

The evergreen shrub Japanese andromeda (Pieris japonica) is a relative of the heather plant, and has small pink or purple blooms that persist throughout fall and winter. It likes cool weather and can survive well in New Jersey during the winter months.

5. Consider other aspects of your landscaping.

With a somewhat more austere landscape, you have the opportunity to focus more on other areas of your landscaping, such as what is commonly called “hardscape” – the nonliving objects that add beauty to your overall design. This can include objects such as arbors, umbrellas, or tents. Take the time to inspect these and how they overall fit in with your design, or add them if you have not already.

You can also look into objects such as fountains and statues to add more of a decorative feel to your overall landscaping. Make sure that anything you add flows well with the plants you are offering, and does not distract or take up too much space. Also consider outdoor living options, such as fire pits or lawn chairs. A beautiful outdoor fireplace can add some decoration to an otherwise bleak winter scene, and can provide much-needed warmth as well.

Finally, you can use the plants themselves as decorations. If you have any deciduous trees that have lost their leaves during the fall that you do not wish to replace, take advantage of the smooth space on their branches to hang ornaments or wreaths.

Thank you for reading our blog! How can we help you? Contact us today.