Winter Plants and Color

Much is written about placement of plants and color for winter. Here is a great photo that Glenn took of the side windbreak!IMG_0827

You can clearly see the windbreak and the height in this photo. THe standard formula is that the windbreak protects 2  1/2 times the height inside the property.  As I said in previous writings, we have the windbreak trimmed professionally about every 2 years to keep it tight.

The trimming also prevents heavy snow and wind from breaking long branches. The telephone pole here on the right is a newer and higher pole. Still, we don’t want the windbreak too high to allow the branches to get lanky.  I would guess it is now 20-feet and it has been kept about that height the past few years.

The center trees are lower as they were replacements of trees planted after a tree was removed. We will let them catch up. This windbreak protects all the back of the house . It was ll open when we moved here except for a large Norway maple. Across the road is a farm field.

Most of the year you can’t even stand on the other side of the windbreak. It is freezing cold and very windy.  On the windward side, before the road, are planted  red Japanese barberries.  THey were the very first thing that we planted here in 1996.  These are used as “snow catchers”.

On this side of the windbreak we have an island with deciduous plants; however, there were more and higher plants until they were removed in 2011. There are not needed now and we want the sun to reach more of the lower spruce branches on the trees.

About the color, we planted and small tree behind the rear patio. It is to shade the patio and only gets about 15-feet high. I wanted winter color when looking out the window in the winter. This is a Coral Bark Japanese maple. Here is a closer look and towards the back corner.



This is why I wanted some snow! Now you can see the bark better! For trees like this, they are best in a spot where you can enjoy. It is nice all year around and will provide more shade to the rear patio and table in about 2  more years.

Now is the time to plan from the windows what you want to see. This is the secret to English Gardening, which is what I design. American Gardening is designed from the road looking into the house and property. Not so with the English design the views and smells of the flowers, etc. are largely designed from what you want to see out your windows and doors.

Perhaps this will give you something to do this winter!


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