Minnesota is not the only place that gets snow. It seems everyone had snow this year and too much of it! In Minnesota where we could be covered in snow for more then four months of the year and the temperatures can plunge well below zero for extended periods of time… it’s not always easy to think about landscaping. But, we at Switzer’s Nursery and Landscaping do! Always exploring the possibilities to enhance the landscape for year round enjoyment… Here are five ideas you can keep in mind when contemplating your landscape design:
one ~ PATTERNS & SHAPES ~ The white snow and gray skies can provide for some dramatic contrasts. The skeletal structure of shrubs and trees are on full display. Many have interesting bark or a funky branching structure. The Burr Oak being one of our favorite. Broad leaf evergreens like rhododendron or boxwood can provide a delicate interest while larger evergreens can decorate the grander landscape. Pavers, boulders, natural stone and other hardscaping elements should be considered for their winter possibilities.
two ~ COLOR ~ While it may not be the explosive color of a massed perennial garden, winter color can be just as dramatic. Several plants have amazing color that stands out in the winter. Especially the dogwood family. The bronze colored bark of the Scotch Pine truly is inspirational during the winter. Evergreens have different colored needles and can vary in shape. Garden accessories painted in bright colors can also play a starring role during the winter months.
three ~ ACTIVATION ~ Whether it is a gentle breeze rustling the remaining leaves on an oak tree or the wind whistling through the needles of a white pine the movement can be most engaging. Flower heads left on hydrangea and the inflorescences of ornamental grasses activate the garden close at hand. Wind chimes are not only a pleasure for the ears but also the eyes with their rhythmic movement. Inviting the wildlife to participate in the garden can be enjoyable at the bird feeder, but a bit more challenging with deer and rabbits.
four ~ STRUCTURE ~ Pergolas and arbors provide wonderful interest in the winter by framing views and by casting the delicate long shadows of winter. Not everyday is sub-zero so providing a shelter to escape from some of the elements can elongate your time outside. Many structures are just wonderful to look at when they’re covered with a layer of fresh snow.
five ~ THE VIEW ~ The view is something that is always important in landscape design, but planning for the winter months is a must. First inside looking out… the placing of landscape elements so they can be viewed form the window is most important. Not only the bird feeders, but all key elements should be kept in mind when designing. Keeping track of the flow of traffic outdoors, especially pedestrian, during the winter assists in the placement of landscape elements.
One element that helps all of the ideas above is Low Voltage Landscape Lighting. Especially in the winter when the duration of daylight is short the lighting can really brighten up the landscape. Patterns & Shapes, Color, Activation, Structure and The View are some of the principles used by the landscape designers at Switzer’s Nursery and Landscaping to provide it’s clients enjoyment in their landscaping the whole year.
Creating a warm and welcoming entry was a goal from the beginning with this beautiful patio project located in Farmington, MN. The interlocking concrete pavers used for this front entry patio helped achieve the goal. Tumbled pavers are mechanically distressed to create a soft weathered look. The pavers were manufactured by Borgert Products of St. Joesph, MN. The cobble series uses three different size pavers to enhance the softness of the patio. The paver’s color is a blend of natural tones of chamois, brown & charcoal called MN River color blend. The patio was installed exceeding the guild lines of the Interlocking Concrete Paver Institute (ICPI). To see more images of paver patios installed by Switzer’s visit the Portfolio Paver Page. Switzer’s Nursery & Landscaping, Inc. is a full service Design/Build Landscape Contracting firm that services the Twin Cities Metro Area which includes the City of Farmington located in the South Metro County of Dakota.