After the brilliance of autumn colors, winter can seem drab, dull and depressing.
The days are short, the trees are bare and lawns are brown and dry.
A smart gardener can avoid some of the winter blahs by planning ahead and creating a landscape for all seasons.
Many plants have evergreen foliage and some, like holly and bittersweet, produce colorful berries in the late fall and early winter. Evergreen ground covers can play a role in replacing that dull, brown lawn. In most parts of the continental United States, the end of summer doesn’t have to mean the end of gardening.
When planning your landscape, choose plants for each season. For beauty in the winter, consider replacing part or all of your lawn with an evergreen ground cover such as Vinca, ivy and heath which will remain green through the winter.
Additionally, creeping red heath doesn’t bloom until after the first hard frost. Your yard can be filled with delicate red blossoms when everyone else’s is full of dead grass.
Deciduous trees have their own peculiar beauty in winter, but try adding evergreen trees or shrubs to keep color alive. Intrepid gardeners may want to try the Christmas rose which usually blooms in January. It is also possible to have winter vegetable gardens in areas where the average temperature doesn’t fall below twenty degrees for extended periods.
Check with your state university’s agricultural extension service to determine which plants are best for your area. Most have a web page where you can contact them. Now is the time to change those winter blues to green.