Decorating the Backyard in the Winter

Of all the seasons, winter’s cold and barren hold on the land is considered by most to be the least beautiful. Unless the ground is covered by a freshly fallen blanket of snow, that is. But, just because the leaves are gone, the flowers are sleeping and the grass is more brown than green, it doesn’t mean that you can’t liven up your backyard with some winter decorating.

There are many different types of plants that can handle the varying temperature changes in the winter. Of course, the ground may be too solid to plant them, but don’t let that stop you. Pull out the pots you put away in the fall and fill them with some fresh potting soil. Then, visit the nursery to check out the hearty winter plants. Here are a few to consider: Camellia, Holly, Snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis), Conifers, Witch Hazel and Hellebores.

If you live in an area where the winters look more frigid than they actually are, you may still be able to use your backyard for various events or family get togethers. Having a fire pit not only serves to keep everyone warm on a chilly day or night, but it makes for a great decorating choice. There are hundreds of styles to choose from, or you can build your own.

Most homeowners only decorate their front yards for the holiday season, but we say, why stop there? If you have trees or shrubs in your backyard, string some LED Christmas lights on them. Choose the clear bulb variety and you can even keep them lit every night throughout the winter season, not just through the holidays. On the occasion you receive some snow in February, imagine how magical your backyard will look with the trees glittering under eaves of crisp, white snow!

Attract some colorful birds to your backyard by decorating it with some beautiful store-bought or hand-made bird feeders. Fill the feeders with Sunflower Seeds, Millet, Cracked Corn, Safflower Seed and Thistle Seed in the wintertime to attract the little brave birdies that choose to stick around when all the geese fly south. But don’t forget, it’s also important to provide a water source for the birds. To prevent the water from freezing in the winter, place a low-temp heater near the water supply. You’ll also want to keep the bird feeders near some trees or shrubs so the birds are more comfortable and more likely to use them.

While these tips work great whenever you put them into action, for the best results, get started on them long before the leaves start falling. In the spring, as you’re planting your colorful flowers, start planning out your yard. Plant evergreen trees and shrubs in strategic places, start building your fire pit and get those bird feeders out there so in the winter you’ll see some familiar beaks. Plus, by the time the cold air comes blowing down from the North, all the work will be done and you can just sit back and enjoy your backyard nursing a nice, steaming cup of hot chocolate.

Dave Donovan is a freelance copywriter living in Atco, N.J. An electrician for 15 years, an injury forced him to pursue his true passion - writing.