As the magical time of year fast approaches and the first icy chills of winter start to send shivers down the spine, it’s time for you to think about how you can create your own special garden for the kids during the run up to the festive season. There’s nothing to stop you from creating an enchanting experience – nothing except your imagination!
You’ll find it’s always a good idea to have a plan, so take the time to think through what you want to achieve. It’s easy to buy a whole heap of fun things to decorate the garden, but consider how you want it to look before getting cluttered up.
Although where you live will obviously have an impact on temperatures and the likelihood of snow, you can design your winter wonderland garden to make the most of whatever the conditions are.
Winter brings out the bare bones of a garden’s design, so the structure will emerge looking very different from other seasons. Think about symmetrical lines and curves of your trees, hard landscaping and topiary. You could create a line of pleached trees with entwined branches to make a covered alleyway and stimulate the kids’ imaginations with your secret path “underground.”
By using strategically placed evergreens such as yew or box, you can topiarize them into low symmetrical hedging or, if your clipping skills run to it, create some winter figures out of the plants. Practice makes perfect, so draw out your ideas to begin with, keeping them simple. Maybe a row of rotund snowmen could emerge, or a few stars.
With the bright blazes of summer and autumn gone, winter color can be simple and attractive, a cool palette delivering a composition of greens and whites, with vibrant reds interspersed.
Red makes a real splash when the scene is frosty, the color a perfect contrast to the whiteness of frost and snow and an eye-catching complement to the white and green flowers and trees. Do your winter flower research carefully – there are plenty that will flower in the cold. Consider planting some small conifers (they don’t all grow to huge heights!) and add that extra touch of magic to your garden.
Try stringing lines of lights or rope lights between trees that will sparkle through the night, and get some silhouettes that you can use indoors or out. Reindeer, snowmen and holly are always popular, and you could always push the boat out and have Santa in his sleigh. For authenticity you’d have to have eight reindeer!
If the snow has stopped, you could always check out Pat’s snowthrower parts and get a machine that will make it seem as if it’s still snowing, a real delight for the kids.
Looking after equipment
It’s easy to forget, but your garden tools need to be looked after properly. Leaving them out in the cold and snow may damage them, so make sure you bring everything into the shed and clean and dry them ready for next year.
As your design plans come to fruition it won’t be long before you and your family are walking in your very own winter wonderland.