When property managers and other decision-makers for commercial landscape properties start to think about a landscaping vision, they’re usually picturing it in the spring or summer, when plant material is thriving. At these times of the year, everything is in bloom and colorful or green.
But in some markets, winter is the dormant season and landscapes can go from blossoming and full, to barren and snow-covered.
While there’s certainly no changing the weather, some forethought, and planning in regard to seasonal color for winter can make a big difference in how the landscape looks during those otherwise bleak months. You’re not going to suddenly get colorful annuals blooming in the snow, but you can be strategic in thinking about adding some interest that will pay off in those winter months.
We’ve rounded up some ideas to consider when planning a landscape so that you can have aesthetic interest all year long.
1. Make Sure Your Plant Choices are Not ALL Deciduous
One thought that should be given when planning your landscape is to avoid incorporating only deciduous trees and shrubs. These are the trees and shrubs that are going to lose their leaves in the winter and be considered bare.
So often, when people think about landscape planning, they really don’t give winter much thought. In cold markets, it might not be a season where people are spending as much time outside, but they are still looking at the landscape from their windows.
Plus, there are often a decent number of people who still get outside to walk, even in chilly temperatures. If you are an HOA, for instance, that has walking paths, you’ll likely find that many residents still use them in the winter months. People with dogs are also walking outside regularly.
Avoid making every single plant choice deciduous to prevent your landscape from being completely barren during these dormant months.
Instead, including some evergreen choices can bring reliable color even during the otherwise bare winter months.
There are also choices that will bear some colorful berries which can really “pop,” particularly in a snow-covered landscape. Those bursts of bright red berries and green evergreen branches will stand out amongst the otherwise white landscape that has been blanketed with snow.
In some markets, there are even winter flowering plants and shrubs that can give you some wintertime appeal. It’s important that your landscaper is paying attention to planting zones and helping you to make selections that will work optimally for your specific location. It’s always critical to be realistic about what is going to work (and more importantly, perhaps, what won’t work).
2. Choose Alternatives to Plant Material
When people think about landscaping, they naturally think about plants. But there are other choices that can be made which have an impact on the overall aesthetics of the space including the use of decomposed granite and rock. These add decorative interest to a landscape while not being impacted by the climate.
Boulders, for instance, can help to fill up a space in a landscape and make it look more “full,” even during a time when nothing is in bloom. Plus, they won’t require any care as plants would. It’s an added benefit that rock is never going to go out of style!
Even during warm months when plant material is in bloom many people worry about their landscape looking sparse. That’s because even the most well-cared-for plant material eventually reaches its end of life.
But rock will stand the test of time.
It can also add color. Decomposed granite is valued for its color variety. At Yellowstone Landscape, we love using stone as a low-maintenance landscaping choice that is still going to provide a commercial landscape with a burst of color. It can add appeal around signage or in high-traffic areas.
Along with rock, you might also think about other ways to “break up” a barren landscape. Another way to do this might be benches or other seating areas. The idea is to think about what will keep a landscape from looking completely barren and boring when nothing is growing.
Furniture and pergolas can also break up a barren landscape.
Whatever you’re adding, the idea is to provide some interest and something to look at as opposed to just an all-white landscape.
3. Think About Outdoor Winter Plants for Pots
Container gardens are another wonderful option to brighten up a landscape and you can create pots that have winter interest, even if most plants are not in bloom.
One way that we create winter interest with pots is by using things like evergreen branches, berries, and pinecones to create interesting and colorful pots even when nothing else is in bloom.
The pots themselves can also go a long way in adding color and visually breaking up the landscape. Even if there is nothing in them, a large and colorful container or pot is going to be a way to have something visually appealing in the landscape when it’s otherwise barren.
Bright and cheerful containers can stand out as a burst of color in a snow-covered landscape.
4. Add Colorful Light to Your Commercial Landscape
Lighting up water features or lighting up signage with bright and beautiful colors is another way to get some color onto your property even when flowers are not in bloom.
We talked about lighting water features in this article on holiday decor, but this isn’t a practice that needs only be reserved for the holidays. It is inexpensive and easy to change out a bulb and add a burst of color to your landscape. Now you can have a purple, blue, or red fountain—and suddenly your property is a lot more cheerful, even during the cold winter months.
It’s a simple way to make a big statement!
Working with a Commercial Landscape Provider Who Looks at the Big Picture
No matter what region you’re located in, it’s important that you are working with a landscape provider who has a big picture perspective for your property. Even if you are located in a cold-weather climate, you don’t want to choose a landscaper who is only thinking about plans for the warm-weather months.
The truth is people like spending time outside, even when it’s cold. You want to be able to provide them with something to look at and enjoy, or even something to do while they are out there. It doesn’t have to be an elaborate endeavor—just giving them something to break up the monotony of the landscape can make a big difference.
Although Yellowstone Landscape’s headquarters may be in sunny Florida, we do work in areas around the country and we are very in touch with each of those individual areas. We’ve said this before, but we are a national company that really does operate on a regional level. Our team members at our various branches are members of the communities they work in and they have a strong understanding of what landscaping ideas work best in their area.
While seasonal color for winter can undoubtedly be challenging in cold-weather climates, there are ways to add interest and appeal, even during the winter! It just takes some extra forethought and planning, including looking at the big picture. After all, those who visit and use your landscape want to be able to enjoy it year-round, not just when things are in bloom. So, you need a landscaping partner that thinks about your property from this perspective.
That also means keeping up with the appropriate maintenance during the winter months. After all, though enhancements like seasonal flower rotations and container gardens are fun when they’re possible if your property isn’t well-maintained, you aren’t going to get the most value out of these additions.
You want to choose a landscaping partner who is also focused on keeping your property looking its best with a regular and effective maintenance plan.
At Yellowstone Landscape, we’re here to be your trusted landscaping partner throughout the whole year. We are always looking for ways that you can take your property to the next level and keep it interesting and appealing no matter what the season.
Are you ready to feel confident in making a wise choice for commercial property landscaping? Request a consultation today. We’ll meet to learn more about your property and its challenges and come up with a comprehensive plan to take care of all of the details for you.
Image Source: berries on tree