Enjoy your Buffalo garden, even during the snowy winter!

winter photo Jaime PabiloniaToo many of us in the Buffalo area ignore our gardens during winter and miss out on what can be a spectacularly beautiful season.

Because it’s too cold to sit outside in your garden during this time of year, you want to create a gardenscape that can be admired while you’re snuggled up inside. Concentrate your efforts on the areas of your yard that you can see from your windows, especially those near your sofa or kitchen table.

Start with trees and shrubs that will look good covered in winter garden Jaime Pabiloniasnow. Add inanimate objects, such as trellises, statues, benches, bird baths and tree stumps. You can get some great ideas from the photos above and at right that Jaime Pabilonia took of his garden in Youngstown. (See what it looked like in autumn.)

Dried grasses and plants with seed pods also add visual interest.

weeping spruce in Buffalo GardenLook for unusual shapes, such as the weeping spruce in the garden of Wayne Gostomski and Tom Flanigan on the West Side of Buffalo, seen at left.

One of the ways Gostomski and Flanigan enjoy their garden is by watching the birds.

“There’s nothing better than looking out the window and watching black-capped chickadees pick seeds off the black-eyed Susans in the winter,” Gostomski said.beauty berries in Buffalo garden

To attract birds to your garden during the winter,  Gostomski suggests keeping the seed pods on dead flowers and choosing plants with berries. The privet in the front of their house provides food for the sparrows all winter, he noted.

Berries can also add color to your garden during the winter, or at least until they get eaten. Gostomski and Flanigan have beauty berries, seen above right, which are tiny berries in a surprising shade of pink, as well as holly, seen below left. Tip: If you want berries on your traditional holly plant, you need need holly in Buffalo gardentwo bushes, one male and one female.  However, self-pollinating hollies, such as Honeymooner, are also available, Gostomski noted.

Most of the color in the garden is provided by evergreens. In addition to holly, spruce, fir, pine and arborvitae, Gostomski lists a plant some of us wouldn’t think of as an evergreen: rhododendrun.rose hips in Buffalo Garden

Another way to add dots of color to your winter garden is with rose hips, the fruit that is left on the plant after the flower is gone. The rose hips at right are orange, but they’re a much brighter shade in the autumn, Gostomski said.

Next week, we’ll talk about how you can make your garden look great through the other three seasons.

In the meantime, do you have photos of your garden in winter that  you’d like to share with other readers? Send them as an e-mail attachment to me at Connie@Buffalo-NiagaraGardening.com.

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