It's our business at TPS Landscaping to be aware of how your landscaping will look in all of the seasons. While some people don't think of winter as a time to focus on landscaping, we definitely want your yard to look the best it can all year round. It's what makes our Asheville and Hendersonville, NC area so beautiful! Check out this article from the NC Cooperative extension.
Gardens should have four seasons of interest. Of course, a lot of emphasis is placed on a spring and summer show. Even fall can be beautiful by picking trees and shrubs with fall color. What about winter, you may say? Winter interest can be added to the home landscape in many ways, such as the use of plants with winter berries, exfoliating bark, colorful twigs, and even winter flowers. Plants with winter berries provide a colorful addition to your winter garden, but they also provide much-needed food for wildlife, especially birds. And, if you are the crafty type, berries add interest to fall and winter flower arrangements! One of the most familiar plants with berries is the holly. There are many different species of hollies, ranging greatly in size. A favorite holly is the Winterberry Holly (Ilex verticillata). This is one of the deciduous hollies. The leaves shed in the fall to reveal a magnificent display of brilliant-red berries. This species will need a non-bearing male plant to produce berries. Another one of my favorite shrubs for berries is the beautyberry (Callicarpa dichotoma or C. americana). This shrub puts on a show of vivid purple berries in the autumn, after its leaves have shed. Due to its growing habit the beautyberry is better suited to the informal, natural garden than the formal garden. There are many other plants that produce berries for winter enjoyment including firethorn or pyracantha (Pyracantha coccinea), certain cultivars of crabapple (Malus spp.), and junipers (Juniperus spp.). Deciduous trees with attractive bark can be beautiful year-round. Some bark exfoliates exposing colorful layers of bark underneath and creating unique patterns. Examples of trees with exfoliating bark include some cultivars of crapemyrtle (Lagerstroemia indica ‘Natchez’, L. indica ‘Apalachee’, etc.), Heritage river birch (Betula nigra ‘Heritage’), kousa dogwood (Cornus kousa), lacebark elm (Ulmus parvifolia), and paperbark maple (Acer griseum). Some bark is smooth or has a unique texture that would stand out in a winter landscape. Examples of textural bark include American beech (Fagus grandifolia) and American persimmon (Diospyros virginiana). The Redosier dogwood (Cornus sericea) and the Tartarian dogwood (Cornus alba) are both used for their brightly colored stems. The younger twigs on these dogwoods are yellow or brilliant red and stand out if set in front of an evergreen. Often, these plants are pruned to within 2-3” of the ground each spring to provide the most colorful display in the fall and winter; however, flower and fruit production will be sacrificed if maintained in this fashion. There are plants that flower in the winter and very early spring that are worth noting. A favorite is the witchhazel. There are two species that are commonly planted: the native witchhazel (Hamamelis virginiana), a yellow-flowered, fall-blooming species, and the vernal witchhazel (Hamamelis vernalis), a yellow-, orange-, or red-flowered, winter-blooming species. Both are stunning if set in front of an evergreen shrub or tree to highlight the flowers. Other winter-flowering plants include winter daphne (Daphne odora), which has extremely fragrant blossoms, Lenten rose (Helleborus orientalis), wintersweet (Chimonanthus praecox), and buttercup winterhazel (Corylopsis pauciflora). With a little planning, you too can incorporate a variety of trees, shrubs, and perennials that will create a stunning garden with interest in all four seasons.
WRITTEN BY Rhonda Gaster, N.C. Cooperative Extension
Some of our days are getting really nice and warm! No doubt that it’s got you thinking spring and being outdoors. As you prepare for spring and begin to think about your mulching needs, there are few things to keep in mind. Prepare the area:
Pull weeds or cut them close to the ground, if you are mulching for weed control. While not strictly necessary, it will help the mulch, and anything under it, to lay flat, and it will slow down the weed growth. Remember, mulch prevents weed growth by excluding light. Enrich the soil and dig the beds, if you plan to do so. Lay down anything you want under the mulch, such as landscaping fabric or plastic. Add a generous thickness of mulch. The depth of mulch is really important if you want to retain moisture and prevent weed growth. Aim for at least two to four inches (5-10cm) of depth.
Better yet, if you don't want to deal with the hassle of mulching (and it can make for a tiring day), give us a call! We have a Mulch Special of 10% off (when we spread it) until the end of March!
Of course, when winter comes, you can hole up indoors like everyone else. Or you can add an elegant fire pit to your patio and enjoy the outdoors year-round. If you're opting for the latter, the question is really a matter of maintenance—which fire pit best serves your needs? Here's a rundown of three types of outdoor fire pits to help you decide:
Just because it's winter doesn't mean you can't adorn your porch and yard with beautiful plants! Most people assume that, if their landscaping doesn't already include planted evergreens, then decorative greenery is out of the question for the cold season. But as long as you consider your local climate before purchasing, potted plants can be your best friend.
Christmas may have already come and gone, but that doesn't mean your curb appeal has to get any less festive! While you might be packing away the jingle bells and electric candy canes, there's still a variety of outdoor decorations that will brighten up your winter style.