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      Winter around the Pacific Northwest certainly leaves much to be desired but it is a little bit better than a lot of places, especially those that only have deciduous trees. Our plethora of coniferous trees makes even winter months a little greener but, if you are landscape or yard is primarily deciduous trees, a lot of it’s probably looking bare right now. So how can you increase the curb appeal and beautify your winter landscape?

      If you’re tired of looking out the window at drab, bear sticks and shrubs, here are seven ways to beautify your winter landscape.

      #1. Choose winter plants.

      Surprisingly, there are a lot of winter plants to boost your winter landscape. Many gardeners love BeautyBerry and Nandina Domestica for brightly colored berries that last all winter long. Red twig dogwoods offer bright limbs that at a unique color and fringe of flowers offer late winter blooms bringing life back to your landscape.

      There are a lot of plants that actually prefer to bloom in the winter. Pansies and Viola’s give you that small burst of color, especially in mild winter climates like the Pacific Northwest. Even though they are technically annuals, many of these varieties drop seeds throughout the years so they’ll come back again and again in late winter or early spring.

      Snowdrops make another unique statement and must be planted in the fall for an early spring showing. These droopy headed white flowers look best at the front of borders or in rock gardens. Winter Jasmine is another winter-blooming shrub with arching branches and bright yellow flowers. Hellebores plants actually love the winter and have been known to bloom even in snowy weather. Even though they are delicate in appearance, they’re pretty hearty plants.

      Cyclamen is another blooming flower for your winter landscape but is often sold as a houseplant. However, this beautiful plant in shades of pink, white, fuchsia, and purple are a perfect cheerful groundcover and prefer winter sun and summer shade.

      #2. Use the lights.

      Hanging lights sparkling off of freshly fallen snow is a delight regardless of the time of year. You don’t have to use light simply around the holidays. Using hanging lights to highlight hardscape structures and create winter focal points will bring warmth and intrigue to your backyard or even your front yard.

      #3. Birdhouses.

      Birdhouses can add a unique charm to your winter landscape and offer double duty by feeding the birds when snow blankets the ground preventing them from getting to bugs and seeds. A well-placed birdfeeder or birdhouse can distract from the lifeless landscape of winter and bright paint can add that pop of color to your front or back yard.

      #4. Bark it up.

      Now is a great time to give your plants a good dose of rich mulch or bark. It will add a vibrant backdrop to your winter landscape and help protect bulbs, tubers, and other perennials from freezing.

      #5. Evergreens.

      As the name suggests, Evergreen or coniferous trees are definitely ever green year-round. You can use them everywhere to brighten up a drab landscaped area that’s typically full of perennials, border walkways, or line retaining walls. Evergreen shrubs and trees come in a variety of colors, textures, and sizes so they can be used just about anywhere on the property.

      #6. Rely on hardscape.

      Now is a great time to assess your landscaping and figure out where it may be missing a focal point. Winter landscaping doesn’t necessarily have to be about plants. Consider hardscapes such as a trellis, arbor, garden sculpture, gazing ball, or bench. These hardscape options can add intrigue and draw your eye to different places in the yard.

      #7. Perennials.

      You might think that perennials are only good in the spring through fall seasons but there’s actually several ornamental grasses, low creeping foliage, hellebores, and dianthus plants that are ideal for adding color, texture, depth and height throughout your winter landscape.

      If you’re still stuck on how to improve your winter landscape, give us a call. We can offer tips and suggestions, get that area cleaned up for you, and make it ready for the burst of spring that’s just around the corner. Call First Fruits Landscaping for all of your Pacific Northwest landscaping, gardening, and yard maintenance needs. Would love to help you design and prepare your garden or landscape for the entire year.

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