Winter isn’t known for being a great time of year for gardening. Chances are you’d much rather be cozied up in front of the fireplace than shoveling snow outside in freezing temperatures. However, winter gardening doesn’t have to take a total back seat to the holidays. In fact, the right winter landscaping can actually enhance the holiday cheer. Use the following winter landscaping ideas to keep your garden as festive as you are this holiday season.

Plan Ahead

Steps should be taken as early as spring and summer to guarantee your plants’ survival through the winter.

Line clay pots with bubble wrap. In the spring, insert bubble wrap along the insides of any potted plants. The bubble wrap helps lock in soil moisture and will be an extra barrier against the cold.

Stop planting early enough. Certain plant species are more vulnerable to cold weather when they are young. Do some research on the plants in your garden, and devise a schedule that prevents any of them from being too early in their growth cycles come winter.

Keep the Plants Healthy

Because a majority of your yard’s plant life cannot sustain winter conditions, the proper precautions must be taken to ensure that your plants will reemerge as vibrantly as ever in the spring and summer.

Use mulch. Putting down a thick layer of mulch immediately following the first freeze can help protect your plants throughout the winter. The mulch acts as a blanket to lock in moisture and keep the soil at a constant temperature for the duration of the season.

white cloches covering plants

Wrap your pots. If you have any potted plants in your garden, consider the type of pot you’re using when devising a winter protection plan. While plastic, stone, and metal pots are more resistant to winter weather and require less attention, terra cotta and other clay pots are prone to cracking in winter. Use burlap or bubble wrap along with some cords or sturdy string to tightly wrap your pots. If possible, move them onto porches or into areas that are shielded from harsh, biting winds.

Cover with cloches. Cloches are transparent plant covers used to protect crops from frost. You can make your own by pinning together a tent of layered plastic sheets, or more expensive, preassembled ones can be purchased.

Help Color Stick Around

christmas rose flower

Although most plant varieties won’t fare well in winter weather, there are several options for infusing some color into your winter landscape. Witch hazels, winter jasmine, daphnes, and some mahonia species are just a few plant choices that can bloom in the winter. If your area is particularly cold, try the hellebore, also known as the Christmas rose; it is especially resilient and comes in a variety of colors. Here are a few other ideas for cheering up a dreary winter yard.

With the right preventative maintenance and planning, you can have a healthy, blooming garden year round. Winter weather can be gloomy, but your yard can be a constant source of vitality.

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Additional Sources: Better Homes and Gardens.