Use a combination of colorful garden art, winter plantings, containers and more to keep the color alive in the winter. Here, Menasha gardener Ann Elias uses glass globes as post toppers on a garden fence. / ROB ZIMMER/Post-Crescent Media
PLANTS FOR WINTER INTEREST
Here is a sampling of many find perennials, annuals and shrubs that you can plant and enjoy for winter interest all season long: hydrangea, black-eyed Susan, prairie coneflower, purple coneflower, yucca, Joe pye weed, golden Japanese yew, golden arborvitae, pinion juniper, Colorado blue spruce, ed osier dogwood, yellow twig dogwood, weeping larch, barberry, roses, strawflower, milkweed, clematis, winterberry, holly, ornamental grasses, Queen Anne’s lace, blackberry lily, cup plant, astilbe, meadowsweet, teasel, liatris or blazing star, flowering crabapple, hawthorne, allium, coral bells, hellebores, boxwood, lavender, yarrow, sedum, Chinese lanterns, Jack in the pulpit, witch hazel, weeping conifers, sunflower
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VIDEOFor video featuring some winter wonderland ideas, see this story online at postcrescent.com.
This is part three of YardMD Rob Zimmer’s three-part series on winter gardening.
Create a winter wonderland in your own back yard using a combination of decorative plantings, winter containers, garden art and your own imagination. Transforming your garden into a work of art during the winter is not hard at all.
Extend the life of your garden to all four seasons by using some of these great tips. I’ll help you get more out of your garden, even when the snow flies.
A great way to add vibrant color to your garden during the winter months is to bring in the birds. And not just the wild ones.
Decorate your garden with colorful bird sculptures, painted bird silhouettes made from plywood, hanging bird houses and fancy feeders of all sorts.
Feeding the real birds has never been easier. With just a little effort, you can attract colorful winter songbirds to your garden throughout winter.
Some of the brightest and boldest are colorful blue jays, northern cardinal, house finches, nuthatches, chickadees and the many varieties of woodpeckers found in our area.
Flashes of red against the bright winter snow offer beauty throughout the season.
There are a number of excellent plants available to bring color and interest to your garden and landscape during the winter months.
Colorful shrubs such as red osier dogwood, yellow-twig dogwood and amber gold willows bring much-needed color and structure to the winter garden.
Combine these with berry-producing shrubs such as highbush cranberry, barberry, roses, flowering crabapples and other shrubs and small trees for beautiful winter color.
Use colorful evergreens that come in more than just green to add even more beauty to the winter garden.
Junipers that come in gold, blue and silver make a wonderful winter scene, along with golden arborvitae, Colorado blue spruce and berry-producing yews.
Eastern red cedar produces colorful blue berries that decorate the branches and boughs throughout winter.
Keep your garden beds alive by allowing perennials to remain standing through fall and winter.
Tufts of snow that form upon the seed heads of perennials such as sedum, coneflowers, hydrangeas, goldenrod, asters and others bring a texture and grace all their own.
Keep the colors of the growing season alive by spray painting the seed heads in various natural or abstract colors.
Create a spectacular garden of ice by decorating your trees, branches and garden beds with sculptures made from clear and colored ice.
In shallow pans or plastic containers, freeze discs of ice containing colored water, as well as various botanical elements such as the fronds of pines, spruces and cedars, berries, flower petals, fresh herbs, feathers and more.
Freeze a loop of string or ribbon for hanging within each disc and decorate your bare trees and shrubs with these colorful, faux stained glass decorations.
Place colorful painted frames throughout your garden and use them to display winter containers, ice art, decorative bunches of evergreen boughs, berries and more. Erect the frames at various angles for a fabulous 3-D effect and change out the featured artwork throughout the year.
Create your own ice sculptures and painted snow sculptures by forming snow and ice into the shape of a flower, hummingbird, butterfly or other garden theme and create beautiful yard art.
Mix together some snow paint using food coloring and water in a spray bottle and mist over the snow to create colorful petals, songbirds and more.
Create beautiful stained “glass” mosaics on the snow by freezing shallow pans of colored ice, then cracking into various shapes and assembling together to form colorful flowers, bees, butterflies, birds and more.
Light it up
Light up the night garden using ice lanterns made from frozen pails or containers of ice with a hollowed center to hold a candle or LED light.
Freeze bright berries, flower petals, glitter, colored tissue paper, snips of evergreens and more into the water for a beautiful, natural ice lantern.
You can also light up the night using colorful gift bag paper lanterns lined along the path or walkway. Use a variety of different colored paper sacks to create a rainbow of color in the night garden.
Winter is a great time to practice your woodworking and artistic skills by creating oversized silhouettes of your favorite garden flowers and birds, then painting them and displaying in the winter garden.
Cut out shapes from plywood and display on stakes in the garden. Or mount your newly created treasures to a fence or the side of a shed or garage. You can even change the flowers out as the seasons progress.
Create stunning winter container displays by inserting birch tree limbs and branches, grapevine wreaths and spheres, evergreen boughs, oversized pinecones, dried hydrangeas, twigs of red and yellow dogwood and other natural elements to create towering or cascading winter container gardens.
These beautiful containers are not just for the holidays. You can leave them standing all winter long for a beautiful winter scene.
— Rob Zimmer writes YardMD every Friday. He can be reached at 920-419-3734 or firstname.lastname@example.org.