The term winter landscaping may seem odd but there is a way to landscape your property to reduce fuel costs. And with the cost of fuel today you need every trick you can find.
You can reduce your fuel costs up to 40% if you plant windbreaks on north, east and west of your home when you live in a windy climate. On a very cold and still day, you are losing less heat than on a windy and equally cold day. And as your windbreaks mature your benefits will increase.
Using trees and shrubs with low crowns make the best windbreaks. If you plant an evergreen in combination with a wall or natural berm it will “lift” the wind above the house. However don’t plant evergreens on the south side so that you can get warmth into your home from the sun.
For the absolute best protection plant the windbreak with an eye on how tall they will grow. You should plant them from two to five times the grown height of the tree from the house. Always plant at least one foot from the home.
When thinking of winter landscaping think of adding interest to you landscape. You may have a shrub that is a beautiful plant but if it is covered all winter under a mound of snow it will do no good. You want to enhance your winter wonderland with enough grace and beauty as you can.
Use plants that will attract birds for added interest. All plants that produce bright berries will attract birds. Use a plant that will catch snow in its leaves for color contrasts. Find a plant that has colorful or unusually textured bark or has an beautiful branching pattern.
A most interesting plant is the cranberrybush viburnum which will produce masses of red berries for attracting those birds. In May and June this rounded bush will produce white flowers and then red fruit. In addition it has foliage that ranges from red to purple in the fall. A visually interesting plant to brighten up your winter world during the dreary cold season called winter.
Another rounded bush that produces red berries is the Japanese barberry. A word of warning here, this bush can be invasive so be careful. It will grow from 4 or 6 feet in height and it has thorns. In the fall the leaves will delight you, first turning yellow and then a reddish purple. In the spring little yellow flowers will emerge and then the bright red berries. These berries will last long into the cold months providing you with color from the berry and attracting hungry birds to your yard.
Copyright © Mary Hanna, All Rights Reserved.
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