As winter casts its frosty spell over the landscape, the garden’s vibrant hues retreat, leaving behind a more subdued palette. However, this doesn’t signal the end of your garden’s charm. Certain plants, like Russian Sage, Limelight Hydrangeas, and Pennesetum Grasses, offer a captivating winter interest, transforming your outdoor space into a picturesque winter wonderland. By refraining from pruning these plants in winter, you can enjoy their enduring beauty through to spring.
In Pennsylvania, where the natural scenery provides a picturesque backdrop, landscape design involves a deep understanding of the local ecology, architectural styles, and client aspirations. Westlake adds, “Our designs aim to harmonize with Pennsylvania’s diverse natural beauty while reflecting the personal tastes of our clients.”
One of the unique aspects of working in Pennsylvania is its distinct seasons. “Our designs consider the changing seasons. We create spaces that are captivating year-round, from the vibrant greens of spring to the snowy blankets of winter,” Westlake says. This approach ensures that landscapes not only survive but thrive across seasonal shifts.
Russian Sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia) stands as a testament to the beauty that can be found in winter landscapes. This hardy plant retains its structural form after its summer blooms have faded, with its silvery stems and spent flower spikes adding a touch of elegance against the stark winter backdrop. The frost-kissed remnants of its lavender flowers contribute a subtle hint of color and a reminder of warmer days.
Limelight Hydrangeas are renowned for their large, vibrant blooms in summer. But their appeal extends far beyond the warmer months. As the air turns crisp, their lush flowers transition to shades of rich pink, beige, and burgundy. Even as the flowers dry, they cling to the sturdy branches, providing visual interest with their textural contrast against the snow-covered ground. These hydrangeas become natural sculptures, capturing the essence of winter’s grace.
Karley Rose Grass (Pennisetum orientale ‘Karley Rose’) is a true gem in the winter garden. If left unpruned, its tall, waving plumes add an element of softness and movement to the otherwise still winter landscape. The grasses, with their feathery seed heads, capture the low winter light, creating a play of shadows and silhouettes that dance with the winter breeze. Their resilience against the cold ensures that they remain a focal point in your garden, even under a blanket of snow.
Choosing not to prune these plants in winter offers several benefits. It not only provides visual interest during the colder months but also offers protection for the plant. The spent blooms and foliage serve as a natural mulch, shielding the plant’s base from severe winter temperatures. Additionally, these plants can become a haven for wildlife, offering shelter and food for birds.