Landscape for cold climates

Can you landscape for cold climates? When you look out your window in winter, is white the only color you see? White snow covering the ground, white ice covering the sidewalk, all framed by white, cloud-filled skies. You may have concluded that landscaping in Wisconsin is only for spring, summer, and fall and that there is just not much you can do for the winter months. However, you can create a beautiful landscape that stands out from the snowy white by installing a few specific plants and structural pieces. A good landscape design for homes in a cold climate should consider how to bring visual interest to it in winter. If your landscaping leaves you a bit uninspired and cold when you look at it in the Wisconsin winter, here are some great suggestions to spruce it up.


Colorful Plants In the Winter Cold Climates

Many trees and shrubs produce berries during fall and winter. The berries come in a range of colors, such as the most popular red or black, but also blue, purple, lilac, and mauve. The colorful berries and year-round foliage remind you that summer is never very far away. As a bonus, the bright berries provide food to many bird species, creating countless days of birdwatching fun in your backyard.


Holly plants fall into this category and include Evergreen Holly (also known as Christmas Holly), and its variants of China Holly and Compact Inkberry Holly. Winterberry holly loses its leaves in the fall, making its berries visible all winter season. Other berry-producing plants include the Compact American Cranberry Bush, which yields large amounts of red berries. Along with growing berries in the winter, the Viking Black Chokeberry has foliage that ranges from red to purple in fall, making it enjoyable in multiple seasons.


Hearty Plants and Ornamental Grasses in Cold Climates

There are plenty of options besides berry-producing plants. The plant itself can become the color focal point. The Red Osier Dogwood is an extremely hearty plant with brilliant-colored bark that ranges from red to burgundy. Adding a tall, perennial ornamental grass such as Plume Grass or Prairie Bead Grass creates depth and visual interest with their thin shafts and fluffy foliage. The Prairie Bead Grass even turns a soft orange color.


Container Potted Plants

While landscaping for cold climates. one way to directly control the health and environment of a plant is by putting it in a container. An added benefit is the flexibility it gives you for landscape design. You can easily swap out plants throughout the season and move the containers around your patio. Use colored or themed containers to create a seasonal or holiday design. A quick and easy winter design can be as simple as filling containers with evergreen plants of different textures and colors. Remember to look up and include window boxes and hanging baskets in your winter design plan.


Ornamental Structures:

Now that you have your living portion of the landscape plan in place, consider installing structural items that will sustain through every season. Building upwards brings height to your design and enables the landscape design to pop up from under a heavy snowfall. A garden sculpture or statue creates a focal point of interest, and a stone bench makes a peaceful place to sit and enjoy all you have created. A fire pit with a seat wall makes a cozy place to enjoy company during the cold months. A pergola rising above a patio creates a structure to hang potted plants or decorative fabric to bring even more color to your landscape. A trellis has an eye-catching cross pattern and can be used as a boundary line to separate spaces. Adorn it with evergreen plants that bear berries and enjoy watching various species of wild birds delight in your yard. Consider painting the pergola or trellis a color that will stand out against a white snowy landscape, such as black, brown, green, or red.


Ask the Pros at Createscape

If you love this idea of creating a winter-friendly landscape, talk to the pros at Createscape. Our experts can determine the best trees and plants for your landscape, install them, and help maintain them. We also build and install structures like pergolas and trellises that you can enjoy every season. Call us at (262) 662-0201 or visit us online at to learn how we can create a beautiful and year-round landscape for your home.