Are you dreading the drab, dingy winter landscape? With a little upkeep and forethought, you can have your yard beautiful for the holidays, even if there isn't much fresh snow. Here are a few suggestions for planning and maintenance that can give your yard the edge it needs to be the best-looking spot in the neighborhood, even during the winter.
Plan Ahead with Plants
When you're planning your landscape, think beyond the warm days of spring and summer. In addition to your flowering summer plants and your leafy trees, install plants, bushes, and trees that look beautiful during the winter, too. Evergreens and Japanese maples give your yard some color during the cold months, as do stout holly hedges and yellow winter jasmine. Use dazzling cotoneaster for ground cover, or plant dogwoods with red or yellow stems for bright contrast in a dull winter landscape.
Add a Statement Piece
Trees, bushes, and flowers aren't the only possible ways to make your yard beautiful for the holidays. Large boulders or smaller river rocks, carefully placed, can add visual variety to your front or backyard, making it interesting to look at even during the winter. In the backyard, a bird bath, bird feeder, fountain, or piece of statuary improves the view and provides a point of interest.
Clean Up Bird Feeder Leftovers
If you do have a bird feeder, remember that those messy birds will drop a lot of seeds and shells during their daily meals. Place an attractive dish on the ground to collect those leavings so you can dump the scraps and keep that area of your yard looking neat.
Pick Up After Pets
Yellow stains on the snow or brown lumps in the grass are very unattractive to your holiday guests! If you have pets that do their business outdoors, make sure you clean up after them. Pick up any droppings and discard them in a plastic bag. If you have stained snow, brush some fresh snow over the spots.
Shovel Slush or Snow
Do you have snow in your area? If so, you understand that old snow can turn into ugly gray slush in your driveway and along your walkways, especially if you use salt to melt the ice. Make sure that you scrape and shovel all that sludge into a pile somewhere out of sight before you host holiday parties or have guests over during the winter. If you've had a fresh snowfall, your yard will look extra lovely; but you'll still need to ensure that the driveway and paths are cleared for your guests.
Add Decor Elements and Lighting
Remember, some tasteful holiday decorations can go a long way towards making your yard beautiful for the holidays. Add a wreath to the door, place large lanterns on the front porch, and twine some white or colored lights through the trees, and you'll have a lovely, inviting outdoor space in spite of the cold.