Today, I would like to show how some of the winter garden design principles I talked about in my last post could be used. I figured the best way to show this is to do a front yard design using these winter garden design principles.
Front yard design for winter interest
I am going to show this using a plan view. That is way of saying that we are going to look at it from above. If you want to, pretend you are in a hot air balloon hovering over this house. We will start with just a house and an empty front yard. This house is a single story with an attached garage.
Hardscapes should be done first in front yard designs
The 1st thing we want to do is get our hardscapes in our front yard design. We might as well add where we want our planting beds and grass too. I will remind you of some of our winter garden design principles as they come up, for instance:
Tip #1 – Make your winter garden visible from inside the house. To do this we will want to make sure that we add a lot of interest in the areas near windows and from sight lines out of those windows.
Trees are next up in front yard designs
The next step is to add trees. We are designing with winter in mind, so lets start with some evergreens. I am going to pick one type of tree and use it several times. This will help to build continuity in the front yard design. Repetition of plants is a key to making a strong design.
The tree I am going to pick is Swiss stone pine (Pinus cembra). It is a great smaller growing pine tree for smaller lots. It grows about 15’ wide and 40’ tall. It is slow growing, so I would buy big ones if I could find them.
Bark for winter interest
Now we can add some deciduous trees. To maximize our winter interest, we will follow another tip:
Tip #5 – In low light areas, select some light colored plants to stand out against darker colored ones.
The best color to see in low light is white. As I said in my last post, white colored plants can really POP in the evening. Trees with white colored bark are attractive all winter. I am going to pick a tree I have not used before, but have heard good things about. Madison Birch – White Satin™ (Betula ‘Madison’).
This tree would look great in a snow covered front yard with a full moon lighting it’s trunk up at night.
White Satin Birch has dark green foliage throughout the season. The leaves turn an outstanding yellow in the fall. The peeling white bark is extremely showy and adds significant winter interest. White Satin Birch will grow to be about 35 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 20 feet.
I am adding two near the house and on opposite sides of the walk to provide a nice shaded canopy during the summer heat, as well as lots of attractive bark to see year around. I am also adding one near the street to tie everything together and provide asymmetrical balance in the front yard design.
On my next post, I will finish up the front yard design by adding shrubs and some other plants.
For more information on Madison Birch click here.