8 ways to enjoy your garden in the winter

Sarah Tolle – Homify Canada Sarah Tolle – Homify Canada
Ella James Garden Accessories Range, ELLA JAMES ELLA JAMES Classic style garden
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While some countries experience glorious sunny days year-round, Canada is not one of them. Summer flowers and trickling garden fountains quickly turn into dried stalks and frozen pipes when November rolls around. Regardless, you can still enjoy your garden in the winter! Here are some tips for making your garden into a lush, scenic, and enjoyable place to be in year-round!

1. ​Keep the garden tidy

You'll enjoy your garden a lot more when it feels lively and refreshed rather than trampled and littered with sticks and leaves. 

There are many jobs that can be done to tidy up a garden as winter arrives. Raking up dead leaves can instantly refresh your garden area (don’t waste these old leaves – you can collect them and use them in the garden as mulch, as long as you've allowed them to decompose most of the way).

The colder months are also the best time to prune large plants and trees, as they are often in their dormant states. Don’t be afraid when cutting back plants – a more severe pruning allows plants to grow back stronger. Plants such a roses and lavender respond very well to an aggressive trim.

2. ​Add winter plants

During the cold winter months many plants revert to their dormant winter states. This provides the perfect opportunity to cut back, transport or introduce new plants. There are many hardy plants that will survive the harsh cold weather. This includes some wonderful flowering plants such as pansies, violas and lavender. 

Winter gardening is not restricted to flowers. If you plan ahead, you can plant evergreen shrubs that will keep their leaves year round. Surprisingly, there are also several vegetables that will grow well during winter. Depending on where you live, vegetables such as snow peas, cabbage and broad beans can be grown successfully during the winter months – talk to a professional gardener about constructing a cold frame for increasing warmth and sunlight in the cold months. If you are more interested in growing herbs, consider winter herbs such as dill, mint and thyme, which usually grow well in lower temperatures.

3. ​Add weather-resistant furniture

A cool winter garden is often not the first place you think of to relax, but if you can enjoy the outdoors skiing and skating in the winter, you can certainly enjoy sitting for a spell in your garden. A good choice would be one of the large, egg- shaped hanging chairs or wicker cages that have recently come into style. They provide protection from the wind, and cosy couch seats that protect you from the sun – and they'll also keep you up off the snowy ground. 

The garden lounge in this picture is another wonderful way to enjoy the garden while still receiving generous protection from the cold winter winds. You can snuggle up in this cozy seat with a loved one and watch the beauty of winter unfold…

​4. Create a Japanese garden

Another way to enjoy your winter garden is to create a Japanese-style garden. Japanese gardens are created to provide a peaceful and serene space where people can reflect. These gardens usually feature non-living natural components like sand, small pebbles, and boulders, as well as decorations like statues and stone lamps. 

While you may not be able to enjoy the colourful blossoms of summer, a Japanese garden will enable you to interact with nature, as raking the sand or pebbles into intricate designs is a significant part of the garden, carrying with it a special meaning. You can also build a small stone pathway that steps through your garden; this common Japanese zen garden feature invites you to enjoy the beauty of your carefully groomed natural space, no matter the time of year.

5. Get warm!

One of the biggest reasons why it's no fun to sit on the porch in the winter is because it's miserably cold outside. A great way to create a warm and cosy atmosphere in a winter garden is to introduce a fireplace, which can transforms the garden into a central hearth that furniture and people will be drawn to.

There are many different outdoor fireplaces to choose from – your fuel can be gas or wood, and your fireplace can range from a cast-iron stove to a brick dome to a ceramic hearth. This fireplace is also known as a chiminea. These chimneys are traditionally used in South America. This chiminea was made by designers at Media Home.

6. ​Feed the birds

Most people like tending gardens because it allows them to spend time in nature. While the winter temperatures prevent you from weeding, digging, and planting, you can still enjoy the winter fauna! 

One of the best – and simplest – ways to get close to nature in the winter is with a bird feeder. Bird feeders are a wonderful way to bring birds into your garden. It's easy to make a simple bird feeder using recycled items like kitchen utensils or plastic containers.

Get inspiration for DIYing your own garden decor with this ideabook: 8 Creative Do-It-Yourself Garden Projects

7. Illuminate

In the winter, your garden might lack the vibrant energy that comes from healthy leaves and colourful blossoms, but you can still add a warm energy to your garden with the right lighting. The fiery orange tones in these wall-mounted lights are perfect for a winter garden, creating a visually interesting space with nothing but light and shadow. The open flames provided by the fireplace are also warm, energetic addition.

8. Add non-floral decor

Many gardeners place typical garden decorations like flags, pinwheels, and globes in their garden, but there's a wealth of interesting interior decor that can be brought outside into a garden environment as well. Flowers disappear in the winter, but high-quality furniture like these picture frames and mirrors will add interest to the space year-round. Stay away from flimsy fabrics that can be weighed down with water and torn in the wind. Instead, opt for metal and stone materials.

What do you think of these garden ideas? Comment below!

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