It’s easy to assume “winter color” in an Indiana backyard garden is impossible. On the contrary! When a client comes to us at Hittle Landscaping, we advise any backyard garden design to have a four-season view. No one wants a backyard garden which looks great for three weeks every June and that’s it.
When we bring our considerable experience to a residential or commercial landscape design, we consider how the design will perform all year.
Midwestern Backyard Garden Fundamentals
Bring on the evergreens! Consider the height and shape. Look for conifers and broadleaf evergreens. Choose ones which maintain their green color even in an Indiana winter. We suggest bird’s nest spruce (picea abies ‘nidiformis’) or green velvet boxwood (buxus ‘green velvet’).
The dwarf variety of the Norway spruce requires little care. It grows slowly and with some pruning, won’t impede on neighboring shrubs. The boxwood looks wonderful year-round in a backyard garden. It can take a couple winters to become established and patience pays off with this classic shrub.
For interest, add some non-green evergreens for a bit of interest, such as dwarf blue spruces. A professional planner takes into account placement, growth rate and other considerations to provide a pleasant view.
With the right composition, evergreens can create a living “sculpture” garden, especially when snow or icy rain visits.
Add Shrubs and Trees with Colorful Bark to Your Backyard Garden
There are many choices for Indiana homes and businesses. We recommend coral bark Japanese maple (acer palmatum ‘sango kaku’), red twig dogwood or white bark or heritage river birches. The architecture, or shape of plants, trees and shrubs also provide interest in a winter backyard garden. Many summer perennials, such as the seed pods on sedum plants, are in this category.
Backyard Garden Incorporation of Berry-Producers
Midwestern winters can quickly become long and dreary. Invite color and wildlife to your backyard garden with plants and shrubs which produce brightly-colored berries. There are many options including: merry berry holly (Ilex cornuta), red chokeberry (aronia arbutifolia), winterberry (Ilex verticillata) and some cultivars of crabapples.
Bear in mind, many of these are dioecious varieties, meaning there are male plants and female plants. For strong berry production, it’s necessary to have at least one of each. Some varieties, including the merry berry holly, are parthenocarpic, which means they produce fruit independently, albeit less.
Mulch or Groundcovers in Indiana Backyard Garden
Groundcovers, such as mulch, can give beds a wonderful contrast to surrounding hardscapes and softscapes. Mulch is available in shades of brown, red and black while groundcovers vary in shades of green. Some even produce small flowers in the spring.
If you use a groundcover plant in your backyard garden, be sure to give it distinct boundaries and monitor it. Many have a tendency to spread into nearby grassy areas or even take over beds. Some hardy suggestions are vinca minor and pachysandra.
Ready to Do More Than Dream? Call Us for a Complimentary Consultation…
At Hittle Landscaping, we bring more than 40 years of expertise in thoughtful landscaping, lighting and design to create something extraordinary for you. We’re eager to get to know you, your tastes and how you’d like to use your backyard garden.
Locally-owned and operated, Hittle Landscaping applies our trademark attention to detail to any challenge. To explore backyard garden ideas for your property, call today for a complimentary consultation with a professional landscape designer.