When people first plant a garden or patio area with planters, they don't worry about how that area will look come winter. You rarely go outside let along walk through the back yard. You will find yourself huddled indoors with garden catalogs or photos of new pottery you want to purchase next spring. Then boom! One day you see a neighbors patio area or you visit family and notice that someone has taken care of their planters and created a winter garden look. Now is your time!
The easiest thing to do is start with one key area. Instead of taking on the whole yard, why not start on just your patio area. Start indoors and see if you view that area from any rooms like a family room or living room. If so what is it that you see. Just a portion of it or a few areas.
Once you select an area think about what kinds of planters you will need to add some color. Go with high fired glazed pottery that can handle the cold months. Select some great grasses and plant materials to fill them with. Try Winter Jasmine, Witch hazels, colorful berry bushes and laurels. The whole idea is to create some colorful drama that will be set against a winter white background.
You may want to take into consideration the bark of certain plants or trees. Once the leaves fall you will be looking at what is underneath. Are the branches straight as an arrow or curved in an interesting pattern? Try to picture your potted plants with snow on them. Will they droop over from the weight or be able to support it?
Decorate with some ornaments like birdhouses and statuary. The wildlife will appreciate you placing a birdhouse or feeder for them and then making sure that you keep it filled, and cleaned. Take a concrete statue and place it in an area where you can see it from the kitchen window. Place under a lush evergreen for cover and beauty or leave sitting on a vacant patio area where it will be loved and admired. Many garden ornaments can stay outside from one season to the next so don't strip the garden area once summer is over.
Any of these tips can be used as a starting point for a winter garden. Let your imagination run wild and look at what others are doing to gather some great ideas. Don't miss the opportunity to create something beautiful just because it's cold outside.