Annuals, Edibles & Perennials Bring Winter Landscapes to Life
Once the leaves have fallen you may think that’s the end of color until March, but no. Our landscape designers and landscape maintenance specialists offer many options for keeping color alive in your landscape all the way into the new year.
The choice of plant materials is limited during the cold season, but the imagination of our landscape designers is not constrained by scarcity. At Surrounds, Margaret Miley is in charge of creating fall and winter displays. Miley’s artistic arrangements prove that it’s all about making the most of what you have to work with.
Scarcity Breeds Creativity
Although we install bedding plants along walkways and at anchor points in the yard, we tend to focus on container displays during fall and winter because they provide the most opportunity for creativity. Our seasonal displays combine live plants, cut plants, evergreens, and edibles.
Containers offer the flexibility that comes with mobility. You can place them exactly where you want near entries, walkways, outdoor sitting areas, then can move them around if you change your mind.
They also give us more leeway to include flowering plants–a favorite snack food of deer. Containers placed nearer the house tend to deter all but the boldest of deer. Whereas, in ground displays farther out in the yard are just too tempting–although we can spread netting and treat with deer repellent spray to deter them.
Flowers in the Frost
Provided that you don’t have a severe deer problem in your community, you can indulge in pansies or violas. Sonya Westervelt of Saunders Brothers is a big fan of both. She says they are extremely popular as a cool season flowering plant because they don’t succumb to frost.
Sometimes on a really cold morning a bed of violas may be flat to the ground, but as soon as the sun comes out they are back up. Sonya Westervelt, Saunders Brothers Wholesale Nursery
Like early spring flowering bulbs, they don’t mind snow and they will flower continuously until warm weather returns. Westervelt prefers violas over pansies because they produce many more flowers per plant. In a side by side comparison, pansies only have three or four flowers per plant. Whereas, a viola can produce as many as twenty. They can make a strong color statement with fewer plants.
Violas are small but can still have impact when you fill an area. If you get them into the ground in October, you end up with a carpet of color. Sonya Westervelt
The Fall and Winter Garden Palette
Here is a list of our go-to cold season plant materials to keep color alive outside:
Wine flash pansy
Penny Red viola
Denim Blue viola
Matrix Morpheus panola (a pansy & viola hybrid)
Pumpkins (white and blue)
Redboar kale (edible)
Fire Alarm Heuchera
Southern Comfort Heuchera
Dogwood -red twig and yellow twig
White birch branches
We also use lot of unusual pumpkins such as Blue and Cinderella. Usually a fall display planted in mid-September will take you through Thanksgiving. Then we start our winter rotation which includes Christmas greens and berries. If we put those in at around Thanksgiving, they usually last through January–sometimes longer if the planting soil retains enough moisture. February is our only month off because we are right back at it in March.
Whether you are decorating for the holidays or just want to maintain some color and interest through the winter. Contact our garden management team and ask what we can design to brighten your winter landscape and delight your holiday guests.