With plants being devastated by drying winds, fluctuating temperatures, and sometimes the lack of insulating snow, gardens in the foothills and plains are often desolate scenes from November through March
Listed here are ways to overcome these forces and to even use aspects of our climate and landscape to compensate for winter bleakness. The best way is to capture the light is with evergreen plants that have reflective leaves such as cranberry cotoneaster (Cotoneaster dammeri) Twigs of coppiced willow and dogwood, when side lit or back lit by low sun rays, can bring luminous color to a stark winter garden.
Fortunately this time of year the air is so dry that stalks and seed heads can last for months, giving some design to the landscape and grasses and herbs add wonderful texture.
You can line pathways and flower beds with rough native stone to add color or tumbled colored glass which we offer for sale.
One of the best ways to add character to your stark winter yard is to add a bright colored statue or bench. Sitting among the starkness it will really pop and add that extra touch that is so needed this time of year.
Prune judiciously - meaning when trimming back trees and shrubs this time of year use an eye to preventing heavy snow loads on key branches. Make hedges narrow at the top and broad at the base for example
Schedule watering - at the end of the growing season, hold off on water and fertilizer to harden off plants and prevent new growth that will be susceptible to killing temperatures. Water trees monthly and smaller plants twice a month.
Wrap young trees - protect young trees from sun scald by wrapping their trunks for several winters. This helps prevent bark feeding by deer, a huge problem in many gardens.
Protect juniper branches - juniper is very popular in many garden so tie the top branches around the trunk with twine to prevent splitting and spreading from heavy spring snow.