Add Winter Interest with Hardscapes


Winter can be drab and dreary when it comes to our yards and gardens. Trees and flowers have all gone brown, our yards are snow-covered, and our lovely gardens, once bursting with color and texture, are a distant memory. But this is what we sign up for here in Minnesota. Although we can’t control the seasons, we can add an element of interest by introducing hardscapes like benches, lighting, and firepits to our winter wonderlands! 

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With all the trees stripped of their leaves and our gardens having gone dormant, winter gives us a great opportunity to see where adding a hardscape could help round out our outdoor aesthetic. If a bare area seems to be lacking a certain something, this is a great time to fill the space with something fun. For example, all those summer planters in your shed that are currently collecting dust can be filled with winter arrangements. Forage or purchase a few boughs, pinecones, and kinikinik branches — and voila! Your pots and planters will go through a festive transformation, and you’ll get a lovely seasonal update.

Benches are a popular addition to porches, patios, and yards — despite it being an unideal time to actually sit on them! They can be placed in those areas that need a little boost of interest and can be painted or decorated for the holiday season. If you have a covered porch or patio, consider using flannel blankets and a few wolly throw pillows to make a statement. 

Lighting is also an excellent way to add interest. With these short days and slippery weather conditions, having a few extra lights at ground level to highlight your decorative winter planters or to help guide you safely to your door is both handy and elegant. Of course, it’s that time of year when some folks like to get out their holiday lights and add a boost of color and brightness to their festive outdoor areas anyway, so have some fun and get creative with your seasonal lighting!

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We may be dreaming of the days when we can walk barefoot through our yards and gardens, taking in the smell of flowers and sounds of songbirds, but we have a few months of snow before that can become a reality. So in the meantime, let’s embrace this season and make the most of it by elevating our outdoor spaces!