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5 Ways to Enjoy Your Garden in Winter

5 Ways to Enjoy Your Garden in Winter
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New Englanders know that the hands-on growing and nurturing aspect of a garden is virtually out of the question during the long, cold winter months. However, a window view of a garden that’s been spiffed up for winter can offer hours of enjoyment. A visually inspiring winter garden scene is a sight to behold which helps us appreciate the season while daydreaming about the warm sunny days to come. Here are 5 ways to foster and enjoy a beautiful winter garden landscape.

Fill a planter with festive stems of winterberry.
Photo/Art by Shelley Wigglesworth
Fill a planter with festive stems of winterberry.

1. Incorporate bushes with berries into the landscape. The burst of color in the bleak surroundings is not only appealing to the eye, it’s also appealing to native birds and other wildlife.

2. Keep water available for the birds. Once in a while, crack the ice in the birdbath and remove it. Refill the birdbath with warm water for the birds to enjoy until it freezes on its own.

3. Make winter container gardens. Tuck miniature evergreen trees, stems of winterberry or curly willow branches into weather-safe plant containers and outdoor planters. They’ll add both color and architectural interest to your landscape.

4. Enhance permanent garden structures. Adorn trellis, arches, benches and potting sheds to showcase the winter season. Try adding a twig wreath to the potting shed door or hang bird feeders from an arch or trellis.

5. Make ice balls. Colorful garden decorations can be made easily and inexpensively from balloons filled with water with a few drops of food coloring added. Tie the balloons at the top after filling and freeze. When frozen, simply remove the balloon to expose a round colorful ice ball. Fill a small wheel barrel or bucket with the large colorful marbles to add a touch of whimsy.

One last thing–don’t forget to look for beauty in unusual and unexpected places in the winter landscape. A garden statue with a dusting of snow; a shiny, iced-over plant; a red cardinal in a snow covered tree; or a birdhouse blanketed under a cover of snow all make for delightful scenes to photograph and enjoy.


Shelley Wigglesworth


Shelley Wigglesworth


Shelley (Fleming) Wigglesworth is an award-winning freelance journalist from Maine specializing in maritime topics and the commercial fishing industry. She is also a certified Maine Master Gardener who writes gardening articles on a regular basis for Yankee Magazine. Her work can be found in the following publications: The York County Coast Star, Portsmouth Herald, Bangor Daily News, Yankee Magazine (online), National Fisherman Magazine, Commercial Fisheries News, Tourist News, Points East Magazine, Coastal Angler and The Maine Lobstermen's Association’s “Landings.” Follow Shelley on Facebook.
Updated Friday, January 17th, 2014
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