Winter Garden Tree Ideas

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Climate In Nova Scotia

I live in Nova Scotia, Canada on the East Coast of North America. People get the idea that we are near the Arctic Circle but not so! In fact, NS is half way between the North Pole and the Equator. If you are not familiar with the geography of the area, Nova Scotia is a peninsula that looks like a fish and is just east of the State of Maine.

We have a ferry that connects Yarmouth NS to Bar Harbor Maine. Because we are somewhat stuck out in the ocean our climate is quite moderated by the warm waters of the Gulf Stream which travels in the Atlantic Ocean from the gulf of Mexico and past, NS, NF and onward to Iceland and Europe.

This means we are climate zones 5 - 6 for the most part. This climate allows us to grow a broad range of plant material quite successfully.

Enhance The Winter Landscape

Add Colors On Your Garden

Dwarf Alberta Spruce with Rhododendron Some years, like this one, we do get a lot of snow and can get extreme cold, but not usually. A couple weeks of -10 Celsius is usually as cold as we get. So, between snow and frozen ground we do not actually do much gardening in the winter other than in greenhouses.

I have spent most of my working life in the nursery business, growing trees shrubs and other plants. Mostly woody or herbaceous material, not annuals. We grow lots of large trees of many species and sell and plant trees right up to 10" in diameter.

A man has made at least a start on discovering the meaning of human life when he plants shade trees under which he knows full well he will never sit.

D. Elton Trueblood

Plan Your Ornamental Garden

Think About Winter Interest

Golden Globe Cedar

  • The use of conifers in the landscape is a great way to get winter color. Contrasted with the snow the soft greens, blues and yellows of conifers can be a great enhancement to your gardens. Some choices are Fir, pines, junipers, Cedars, Chamaecyparus and a few others.

  • Add to the some of the beautiful "Broadleaf Evergreens" and you can add a great deal of color interest and texture. We like to recommend Euonymus Fortunei cultivars like Emerald Gaiety and Canadale Gold. Also, great choices are the hollies like Blue princess and also Kalmia, Pieris, and Rhododendron make great winter time plants.

  • Next idea is to add more bright colors with colored wood stems and bright berries and fruit. Some of the dogwoods like Red Osier, Yellow Twig, Siberian pearls, and others enhance the winterscape. Kerrie Japonica offers bright green stems and also, some of the Japanese maples add great winter stem interest. There are some amazing stem colors and striation in the small maples like Acer pennsylaticum, (striped or Moosewood maple).

  • So what else can we do to enhance the winter landscape? A couple ideas are to consider plants or trees with interesting forms like some of the very erect pyramidal trees like pyramidalhornbeamand columnar English oak. Which by the way, often holds it leaves well into winter?Some plants and trees display wonderful bark interest like Bur Oak, Burning bush, Sycamore, and some of the prunus species.

  • And finally, many trees and shrubs display wonderful colored berries into the winter. This include some varieties of Viburnum, Roses (beautiful hips), Sorbus (Mountain Ash with large corymbs of berries), Euonymus Alatus (burning bush), coral berry, snow berry, cotoneaster and even flowering crabs will hold well into the winner with some species. And these encourage the regular visits of bird life.

Poll: Trees In Your Garden

Do you think about winter interest when you plan your ornamental garden?

  Show the poll results

More Winter Garden Ideas

Ice On A Holly Bush Now, we have considered plants that can be used for winter interest, We can also use structural features like stone work, statuary, Old cars, used tires , whatever tickles your fancy. Wooden arbors, you name it. It is very easy to build some fixtures that enhance the winter landscape.

These are but a few ideas but let me suggest one more idea! By piping some water out doors in the winter when the temperatures are below freezing you can create some amazing water sculptures just by letting the water direct in the air with a moderate flow and some amazing ice sculptures will be generated.,

These are a few ideas but… We are only limited by our imaginations!

Share Your Thoughts

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  • GonnaFly Feb 09, 2014 @ 2:42 pm
    Where I live, we don't get any snow at all. We do get some frost though :-) We are very blessed to have quite a few plants flowering in winter eg wattle trees.
  • thegardenersfriends Feb 17, 2014 @ 7:32 pm
    I am not familiar with "Wattle Trees". what is the species of these and where do you live GonnaFly?
  • acreativethinker Feb 09, 2014 @ 10:46 am
    Thanks for giving us some great information on these lovely trees and amazing photos too. I have enjoyed growing a few cedars and pines in my garden and they add beauty to the other landscape plants.
    Thanks for sharing and take care. :)
  • design_jobs Jan 19, 2014 @ 3:33 am
    They are really awesome!!
    Thank for sharing with us.
  • fptelemedicine Jan 17, 2014 @ 4:31 am
    wow.. really interesting..
  • visit2goa Jan 17, 2014 @ 1:44 am
    Awesome awesome..awesome........... amazing photos
  • DebMartin Jan 16, 2014 @ 11:00 am
    As I live in the bush, I don't much plan gardens. But your frozen berry photo has got me thinking about more red in my winter scenery. I have a couple of bushes/trees that have red berries but they don't last through the winter. How nice it would be to look out and see a pop of red among all that white, brown and green. Thanks!
  • lollyj Jan 16, 2014 @ 9:59 am
    Beautiful photos and helpful information here. Congrats on your well-deserved LOTD.
  • jillblogs Jan 16, 2014 @ 8:50 am
    Hi Paul,
    Thanks for sharing this. NS looks beautiful. I live in Glasgow, Scotland, where I believe the first NS colonists came from. I think we are about 10 degrees north of you would that mean we're in the same zone? V damp, wet climate here from Atlantic cloud although we've seen a lot more freezing and snowy weather in last 3 years.
  • PapaPropa Jan 16, 2014 @ 6:52 am
    Hi Paul,
    I love your articles, it's like a fairy tale for me.
    Because I'm from thropical country, we don't have snow season.
    I hope one day God gives me an opportunity to touch the snow :)
    Thanks
  • bercton Jan 15, 2014 @ 10:41 pm
    Very interesting lens and a great winter landscape!
  • jenifestyle Jan 15, 2014 @ 9:58 pm
    S beautiful garden!
  • rauspitz Jan 15, 2014 @ 9:17 pm
    Beautiful garden. Congratulations on getting LotD!
  • FaaastCash Jan 15, 2014 @ 8:48 pm
    A better way to add color to the winter landscape is to plant shrubs and trees that sport winter berries. Not only do these add color, they attract winter birds too.
  • Jan 15, 2014 @ 6:58 pm
    My winter garden was still yielding as of November 23 when I plucked the last of my Brussels sprouts. unfortunately, though, my rutabagas froze. Great tips for trees! Thanks!
  • d-artist Jan 15, 2014 @ 5:45 pm
    Congratulations on LOTD! I love color in my garden, even in the winter...so do the Deer!
  • Papier Jan 15, 2014 @ 2:44 pm
    Those look like terrific hand pruners for keeping a landscape such as yours in tune, even with arthritis. Lovely pictures and information.
  • lizbirdsall9 Jan 15, 2014 @ 2:04 pm
    Winter can be very beautiful when you plant trees. They help the wildlife find cover from the element. It would be everyones advantage to plant trees and bushes.
  • Klio2014 Jan 15, 2014 @ 4:40 pm
    Right.
  • eiramarie_0726 Jan 15, 2014 @ 1:40 pm
    Very nice. Thank you for sharing ☺
  • Anonymous831 Jan 15, 2014 @ 12:52 pm
    Nice Lens. :-)
  • thatgrrl Jan 15, 2014 @ 12:44 pm
    I'm in Ontario. I enjoy the winter trees too. It's one of the best things about living on a suburban street I think. All that row of trees on a snowy day. One of my favourite winter things!
  • MarcellaCarlton Jan 15, 2014 @ 12:42 pm
    Very Good Article. The winter is the perfect time to clean out the flower beds and to check for any structural damage to your core plan that needs to be repaired. I garden all year long and have seen my tulips, crocuses, and daffodils just beginning to peek out of the ground. I'm in the Pacific NW.
  • ItayasDesigns Jan 15, 2014 @ 12:29 pm
    I love the evergreens in and around our yard so that we do have lots of color all year long. I live int he Pacific NW and we have evergreens everywhere in this part of the country. Very nice article with great tips. :)
  • lhbeninger Jan 15, 2014 @ 11:54 am
    Congratulations on your LotD. Beautiful photos -- but I have to admit that I'm happy to look at them from the warmth of my California home.
  • StephenJParkin Jan 15, 2014 @ 10:11 am
    I find Nova Scotia to be cold as I was brought up in England and spent many years of my life on the South Coast near Brighton. Our town held the record for the highest average number of sunny days per year at 260+. However now I live just outside Bridgewater and even though we are on the same latitude as Milan it is considerably cooler here!

    I love your ideas and had not stopped to think about garden planning since my arrival (We live on a 34 acre farm and keep horses!). Our yard is fairly natural and has 15 some acres of grassy field space. However there are crabs and oak and what looks to be beech tress in the hedges as well as the usual pines and spruces, and paper bark birches.
  • partybuzz Jan 15, 2014 @ 10:11 am
    We live in the woods and there are naturally growing mountain laurel bushes that give us a nice green to look at in the winter months. Also, a few pine trees. This is a wonderful lens. Congratulations on a well deserved LotD!
  • campingman Jan 15, 2014 @ 9:17 am
    The first 40 years of my life were spent in climates such as yours. Hiking, camping, hinting, fishing and yes, living and raising a family. The last ten have been in warmer climates. A really nice lens and I can't tell you how many pictures I have just like the one of your berries. Ahh but it is so nice to wake up and no longer shovel snow or drive on ice. Cheers my friend, thank you for sharing a really nice lens
  • vallain Jan 15, 2014 @ 8:45 am
    The ice on the berries is a lovely picture. I bet you were slipping and sliding when you went out to take that one.
  • LynnKK Jan 15, 2014 @ 6:32 am
    I have a baptisia plant that has interesting black seed pods in winter.
  • esmonaco Jan 15, 2014 @ 5:06 am
    I don't really think about gardening in the winter, but now I will, thanks for the great advise here. All of your photos are wonderful, Congratulations on LOTD!!
  • JoanneOtt Jan 15, 2014 @ 12:45 am
    Congratulations on LOTD from a fellow Canadian who lives on the Pacific coast.
  • penny-richens Jan 15, 2014 @ 12:39 am
    I love seeing pictures from places that sustain some color during winter. I live in Wyoming, and it is pretty much beige most of the year. Don't get me wrong, I love it here, but some winter interest would be fantastic. It's a little hard to do that in a zone 3. Excellent lens BTW and congrats on being the LotD :)
  • leahjsongs Jan 15, 2014 @ 12:01 am
    I don't own land to garden, but I have gardened in the past in previous homes and confess to never putting much thought into what goes on during the slower, dormant winter months. Good tips!
  • RoadMonkey Jan 12, 2014 @ 1:32 pm
    Great photos. It seldom drops below zero degrees celsius here, thank goodness, though it gets very damp, which people who have experienced our cold and Canadian cold say is worse.
  • Merrci Jan 12, 2014 @ 8:44 am
    Interesting ideas here! Thanks for sharing. The photos are wonderful too. I especially love the ice on the holly branch. Stunning!
  • Muebles-de-jardin Jan 02, 2014 @ 6:24 am
    thnak you for your good ideas for the garden

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