The starkness of a winter landscape is the perfect time to evaluate the bones of your garden. Look at how your trees and shrubs balance each other within the space – look at height, width, branching structure, deciduous vs. evergreen, etc. Note those parts of the garden that may look unbalanced, and begin planning how to adjust once spring comes. Maybe you need some height in one corner – how would you like to achieve it? With a tapered evergreen, or maybe with a tall obelisk? Use this downtime to get inspired and prepared for spring!
Winter storms can be unpredictable and often produce more snow than anticipated! Protect your shrubs from snow/ice damage by periodically venturing outside to keep them clear. Heavy snow and ice can bend or snap branches, especially on evergreens like Boxwood and Arborvitae. Be careful when shoveling off your roof, and don’t throw snow directly onto your defenseless foundation plantings. Be sure that snow plow drivers are mindful of any shrubs planted directly next to the driveway.
Snow and ice can cause dangerous conditions on sidewalks, front steps, and driveways for humans, but be mindful of the products you use to battle these winter elements. Most snow melt products are harmful to your four-legged family members! Opt for sand, kitty litter, or designated “pet-safe” snow and ice melt products around the exterior of your home. And be sure to carefully wipe off paws and bellies after winter wonderland walks.
You may be full from holiday feasts, but don’t forget our feathered friends! During the cold winter months, natural food is scarce and birds have a need for seed! Be sure to keep your feeders stocked with seed and suet.