The beautiful outdoor colors of summer are quickly fading, fall is upon us and winter is quickly approaching. Our family loves this time of year because our schedules have calmed down a bit and we can spend time at home. Being home means being outside and enjoying the wonderful brisk weather. Many people stop by for a quick visit and I always want to make sure the outside of our country home looks alive and welcoming. This is sometimes a struggle as the grass, leaves and flowers are dying but there are other great ways to add interest as the colors of nature fade away. Extra lawn care, the addition of ornamental grasses, plants, flowers, shrubs, trees and the “oh so easy” addition of color through hardscaping and accessories will brighten up the exterior without much effort or cost.
If you want a lush green yard into the winter months do what people up north do and plant northern grasses that can withstand the cold weather. Some great varieties include Kentucky bluegrass, Perennial rye, tall and fine fescues and the new blends of the turf-type tall fescues are also becoming more widespread. We don’t plant northern grass but we do plant a lot of ornamental grasses. They are so easy to grow and come in many heights, color and textures. Some of our favorites are Indian grass, Little Bluestem, Moor grass and with Pink Crystals Ruby Grass comes a beautiful contrast of color.
Check out what grows best in your area but there are many great winter plants, trees and shrubs that bloom in the colder months, have bright berries, or as the leaves fall reveal textures and colors of bark and stems that are actually quite interesting. Some of our favorite plants include Pansies, Crocus, Snowdrops and Witch Hazel. Berry producing favorites would have to be Winterberry, Blue Holly and Snow Berry and then when it comes to trees the Redtwig, Cool Bark Maple and of course the Dogwood trees that grow wild in the hills surrounding our home.
Along with decorating the outdoors with live vegetation comes the easy way of using hardscapes where the variety of colors, shapes and textures are endless. Items that we have around our home that add interest are a beautiful rustic bench, a gazebo and different shaped arbors and trellises. We also like to add planters in all shapes and sizes. Brush on a fresh coat of paint and a small evergreen and these planters really living up an outdoor entertaining area.
We like to add a little each year to our lawn and garden so that we aren’t stressed out by trying to put it all together. This is our relaxation time and we always try to make the most of it. There are many things we dream about adding like a portable spa or even one built into our multi-level deck design, an outdoor kitchen and a fire pit surrounded by colorful Adirondack chairs. One day this will all happen but for now we are happy with our mix of grasses, plants, shrubs, trees and hardscapes and no longer are sad when summer is over but actually look forward to the priceless time of year we get to spend at home with family and friends.Pin It