6 Inspiring Ideas for a Beautiful Winter Garden

Adriana Velez | Jan 18, 2013 Home & Garden

shoyoen gardenWinter can be an ugly time for gardens. We all love the sight of a garden covered in a fresh blanket of snow. Dark bare branches, seed pods, and icicles can look hauntingly gorgeous. But when the snow melts away -- or if you never get that snow at all? Bleh. You're looking at a dreary deathscape of brown and gray.

So how do you beautify your garden in the winter? I refuse to believe that closing the drapes for three months is the only answer! Here are some ideas for helping your garden look its best even through the dark days of winter.

  • Christmas Tree Mulch

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    dpstyles™/Flickr

    Turn your Christmas tree into mulch! New York City collects trees and turns them all into mulch for the city parks. But you can collect your needles and small branches and spread them around the base of shrubs and trees.

  • Shrubs With Berries

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    Digital Leica/Flickr

    Shrubs with bright berries, like holly, add pops of color to a gray and brown winter garden.

  • Cold Frames

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    Linda N./Flickr

    For your vegetable gardens, you can cover your beds with cold frames. You can see one on the right in the photo. The beds on the left in the photo can now be covered in plastic. Depending on where you live, you may be able to plant hardy greens. Here's instructions for building a coldframe using PVC pipes.

  • Winter Rye

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    Linda N./Flickr

    Planting winter rye will keep a little green going (hopefully) and will also prevent soil erosion.

  • Pathways, Stones, and Accents

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    Pathways, stones, fences, bird baths, and other accents can add structure and beautify a garden even in winter.

  • Wrap Trees

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    Augapfel/Flickr

    Most trees are fine through the winter. But occasionally people plant trees from other climates, like fig trees, that need a little protection. You can tie the branches together in rope and then cover the branches in burlap. In especially harsh climates it helps to wrap young tree trunks. Good luck finding straw, but I suppose that works, too. I just thought this photo was funny.

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