The 18 Best Landscape Design Tips for Winter - QC Design School

Winter is a great time to spruce up your home’s landscape! While most people think about landscaping in the spring and summer, there are many things you can do to improve your yard in the winter, too. In this article, we’ll discuss 18 of the best tips for landscape design during the winter season.

Whether you’re a homeowner looking to do it yourself or a professional landscape designer looking to help your clients, these tips will give you the knowledge needed to create a beautiful winter wonderland!

So, keep reading to find out what they are!

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Why Is Landscape Design Important During The Winter?

Just because the temperatures have dropped and the days are shorter, doesn’t mean your landscape should suffer. In fact, winter is a great time to give your landscape a little extra TLC.

Not only will this keep your yard looking its best during the holiday season; it’ll also help it stay healthy and green come springtime!

Considering a career in landscape design? Here’s how YOU can become a certified professional in as little as 12 short weeks!

The 18 Best Landscape Design Tips For Winter

Alright, let’s get into it! Here are the 18 best landscape design tips for winter:

Tip #1: Keep Your Lawn Mowed

This may seem like an obvious one, but it’s important to keep your lawn mowed (yes, even during the winter months)! Not only will this help your yard look neat and tidy – it’ll also prevent ice and snow from covering up any dead patches of grass.

Now, you may be thinking, “How am I supposed to be able to mow my lawn if it’s covered in snow?”

Well, that’s where a snow blower comes in! A snow blower is a great tool to have on hand during the winter months. It’ll make quick work of any snow or ice that’s covering your lawn, making it easy for you to keep it looking its best.

Tip #2: De-Ice Your Walkways

No one likes walking on icy sidewalks! Not only is it dangerous, but it can also be really difficult to clean up if you live in an area with a lot of snowfall.

To avoid this, be sure to de-ice your walkways as soon as the temperatures start to drop. This can be done a number of different ways and with a variety of products, such as salt, sand, or even cat litter. Just be sure to read the labels carefully and follow the directions. Otherwise, you could end up doing more harm than good!

Tip #3: Keep Your Landscape Looking Pretty By Planting Some Winter Flowers

One of the best ways to keep your landscape looking its best during the winter is to plant some winter flowers. There are a variety of beautiful blooms that thrive in colder temperatures, such as:

  • Pansies
  • Daffodils
  • Hyacinths
  • Lilies
  • Tulips

These are just a few of the many options available to you, so don’t hesitate to get creative! Not only will these add a splash of color to your yard; they’ll also help to brighten up those dark, dreary days.

Purple heather, Calluna vulgaris, in flower pot among withered ostrich fern under yellow rowan tree leaves, winter snowfall in the garden. Landscape design tips article.

Tip #4: Add Some Lighting To Your Landscape Design

Another great way to spruce up your landscape during the winter is to add some lighting. This can be done in a number of different ways, such as:

  • String lights
  • Spotlights
  • Solar lights

This is an awesome idea because for one, this will this make your yard look more inviting. Secondly, it’ll also help to keep you and your family safe when walking around at night!

PRO TIP: Learn more about lighting options (and SO much more) by checking out this Beginner’s Guide to Landscape Design!

Tip #5: Protect Your Plants From The Cold With A Burlap Wrap

If you live in an area with harsh winters, then you know how important it is to protect your plants from the cold. One way to do this is to wrap them in a burlap wrap. This will help to insulate them and keep them warm throughout the winter months.

(If you’d like some help learning how to wrap your plants in burlap properly, Myke Naturally Powerful has a really informative article that breaks down the process into 4 easy-to-follow steps!)

Just be sure to remove the wrap as soon as the temperatures start to rise in the springtime. Otherwise, you could end up doing more harm than good!

Tip #6: Bring The Indoors Out With A Winter Container Garden

Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the beauty of nature! One way to do this is to create a winter container garden. This is essentially a mini garden that you can keep on your porch or patio. All you need is a pot, some soil, and your favorite plants!

Not only will this add a touch of beauty to your outdoor space – but it’ll also give you something to take care of during the winter months, too. (And let’s be honest, we could all use a little extra TLC during the colder months!)

Tip #7: Add A Water Feature To Your Landscape Design

“Umm… Won’t this just freeze?” you may be wondering.

We know, we know – but hear us out!

Adding a water feature to your landscape, such as a pond or fountain, can actually be really beneficial during the winter months. The moving water will help to keep the area around it from freezing over. Plus, it’ll add a touch of beauty and serenity to your yard – even when everything else is covered in snow!

Just be sure to take the necessary precautions, such as adding a pond heater or using proper insulation. Moreover, ensure to take proper care of it throughout the season. This will all help to ensure that your water feature lasts all winter long!

Tip #8: Give Your Landscape A Fresh Coat Of Paint

If you’re looking for an easy and inexpensive way to give your landscape a facelift, then consider giving it a fresh coat of paint! This can be done a number of different ways, such as painting your:

  • Front door
  • Fence
  • Porch furniture

This is a great idea because it’ll help to add a pop of color to your yard – without going too crazy. Plus, it’s a relatively easy project that you can do on your own! Just make sure that when choosing paint colors, you take cues from your surrounding landscape. In turn, this will help to create a cohesive look that flows naturally.

PRO TIP: Become a master of all things color – and be able to sell these services to paying clients – with the help of QC Design School‘s self-paced, online Color Consultant certification course!

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Tip #9: Embrace The Holiday Spirit

Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa, or another holiday – embrace it! There are a number of different ways that you can do this, such as:

  • Putting up holiday lights around the outside of your home, on your porch, in any trees you have on your property, etc.
  • Decorating your porch, patio, or yard
  • Planting a holiday-themed container garden

This is a terrific tip because firstly, it’ll add a touch of cheer to your yard. On top of that, it’ll also make it more inviting for you and your family to spend time outdoors! After all, what’s cozier than cuddling up around a fire pit with some hot cocoa?

Tip #10: Needled Evergreens Are Your Best Friend

If you’re looking for plants that’ll survive the winter months – and look good doing it – then needled evergreens are your best bet. This is because they have a higher tolerance to cold weather than most other types of plants.

Not only that, but they also tend to remain green all year round (hence their name!). This means that they’ll provide your landscape with some much-needed color during the winter months, when everything else can potentially look dead and drab.

And if you really want to add a touch of luxury to your yard, then consider planting some gold evergreens! These beauties will add a touch of class and elegance to any landscape design!

Tip #11: The More The Berry-er

Berry-producing plants are another type of plant that does well in the winter months. This is because they provide your landscape with both color and texture – two things that can be lacking during the colder months.

Some of our favorite berry-producing plants include:

  • Holly
  • Juniper
  • Euonymus
  • Cotoneaster

These plants are also great because they provide food for birds and other wildlife. So not only will they make your landscape look good; they’ll also help to support the local ecosystem!

Tip #12: Give Your Winter Landscape Design Some Focal Points

Focal points are an important part of any landscape design – and this is especially true for winter landscapes. This is because they help to create a sense of interest and intrigue, even when there isn’t much color present.

Some great focal point ideas for winter landscapes include:

  • A sculpture or statue
  • An interesting rock formation
  • A large evergreen tree
  • A water feature (see Tip #7)

Basically, anything that will catch the eye and hold attention is fair game! Just make sure that whatever you choose suits the overall look and feel of your landscape.

Tip #13: Beautify Your Landscape with Bark

Bark is a great way to add both color and texture to your winter landscape. And the best part is that it’s easily accessible. For instance, you can find it at most garden centers or even online!

From there, there are a number of different ways that you can use bark in your landscape. Some examples include:

  • Mulching your planting beds
  • Making a pathway through your garden
  • Creating a border around your property
  • Adding interest to an otherwise boring area

Basically, the sky’s the limit! So, get creative and see what you can come up with!

Tip #14: Give Special Attention To Your Hardscape

In the world of landscape design, a hardscape refers to any non-plant element in your yard. This includes things like:

  • Pavers
  • Brick
  • Stone
  • Concrete

Basically, anything that’s not alive!

While it’s important to take care of all aspects of your landscape, it’s especially crucial to pay attention to your hardscape (regardless of the season). That said, in the winter, it takes on even more importance. This is because it’s often one of the only things that’s visible!

As such, you want to make sure that your hardscape is in tip-top shape. This means regularly clearing away any debris, moss, or dirt that may have accumulated. You should also make sure to repair any cracked pavers or damaged concrete.

Doing so will help to ensure that your hardscape looks its best – even in the middle of winter!

Closeup photo of home entrance during the holidays with fresh snow. Landscape design tips article.

Tip #15: Invest In an All-Weather Deck or Patio Cover

If you really want to get the most out of your winter landscape, then consider installing an all-weather deck or patio cover. This way, you’ll be able to enjoy your outdoor space – regardless of the weather!

Not only will this provide you with a much-needed respite from the cold; it’ll also protect your furniture and outdoor decor from the elements. So, if you’re looking for a way to take your landscape to the next level, this is definitely it!

Tip #16: Consider Ornamental Grasses

Ornamental grasses are a great way to add interest and texture to your winter landscape. And the best part is that they’re relatively low-maintenance!

Some of our favorite ornamental grasses include:

  • Fescue
  • Pampas Grass
  • Switchgrass
  • Blue Oat Grass

These beautiful plants will help to give your landscape some much-needed life – even during the bleakest months of the year!

Tip #17: Add a Pergola or Covered Day Bed

If you really want to take your winter landscape design to the next level, then consider adding a pergola or covered daybed. This way, you’ll have a cozy spot to relax, even when it’s cold outside!

This is a great option that will provide you with a much-needed respite from the cold. Plus, it’ll also protect your furniture and outdoor decor from the elements. Of course, if you want to take an extra precaution, we also recommend waterproofing your pergola or daybed, as well as the furniture within it (e.g. choosing waterproof cushions).

That way, you won’t have to worry about it getting damaged by the snow or rain!

Tip #18: Keep a Space Where Everyone Can Chill Outside

(No pun intended.)

While it’s important to have a cozy spot where you can take refuge from the cold, it’s also crucial to have a designated chill space for everyone in your family. This way, you can all enjoy being outside together!

There are a number of ways that you can do this. For instance, you could:

  • Install an outdoor fireplace
  • Set up a fire pit
  • Hang string lights
  • Add an outdoor rug
  • Add outdoor furniture, such as chairs, benches, or daybeds

Basically, anything that will make your outdoor space more inviting and comfortable!

Decorating Your Garden In The Winter

Now, what if you have a garden? How can you make it look its best during the winter season?

Well, fear not! We’ve got you covered.

Here are a 5 quick tips to help you decorate your garden in the winter:

  1. Incorporate Seasonal Colors – This is a great way to add some life to your garden, even in the middle of winter. Some great seasonal colors include red, green, blue, white, and purple.
  2. Use Evergreen Plants – As we discussed earlier, evergreen plants are a great way to add some color and life to your landscape. Not only do they look great; they’re also low-maintenance!
  3. Add Some Lights – Lighting is always an important element in any landscape design. But in the winter, it takes on even more importance. This is because the days are shorter and the nights are longer. So, if you want your garden to look its best, you could use solar lights, LED lights, or even traditional Christmas lights. Just make sure that they’re weatherproof and that they’re not going to trip any circuits!
  4. Add a Water Feature – A water feature is a great way to add interest to any garden. Plus, the sound of trickling water is incredibly relaxing!
  5. Decorate Your Garden Shed – If you have a garden shed, now is the time to decorate it! This is a great way to add some personality to your space. Plus, it’ll give you a place to store all of your gardening supplies.

Need help maintaining the garden itself during the winter? Check out these 10 tips, courtesy of Proven Winners!

Landscaping in Winter: The Value Of Hiring a Professional Landscape Designer

If you’re not sure how to get started with your winter landscape design, or if you need help maintaining it throughout the season, then we recommend hiring a professional landscape designer.

A professional landscape designer will be able to help you create a beautiful and functional outdoor space – even in the middle of winter! Plus, they’ll be able to give you tips and advice on how to care for your landscape, so that it will last for years to come.

If you’re interested in hiring a professional landscape designer, we recommend using Google to search for one in your area. Simply type in “landscape designer + your city” and you should be able to find a list of qualified professionals.

When it comes to hiring a landscape designer, it’s important to remember that you get what you pay for. So, if you’re looking for the best possible results, we recommend opting for a higher-priced designer.

Of course, if you’re on a budget, there are still plenty of qualified landscape designers out there who can help you create a beautiful winter landscape – without breaking the bank!

PRO TIP: Learn the difference between a landscape designer vs. a landscape architect so you know exactly what to expect from the person you hire for the job!

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Alternately: Become a Landscape Designer Yourself In as Little as 3 Months

Thanks to QC Design School’s self-paced, online Landscape Design certification course, you can learn everything you need to know about landscape design – in as little as 3 months!

This comprehensive, 5-unit program covers everything from the basics of design theory to more advanced topics, such as horticulture and business theory. Plus, your tutor will be an experienced industry professional who’s passionate about landscape design.

Once you’ve finished your QC training, you’ll receive your globally-recognized International Landscape Design Professional (ILDP) certification. The cool part is that this also doubles as your official designation/title! From there, you can proudly put “Certified Landscape Designer” on your business cards, website, and portfolio.

In terms of tuition, QC’s Landscape Design Course comes at an affordable price. Furthermore, you have the option to either pay the full tuition at the time of enrolment (which will result in a hefty discount) or pay a small deposit, followed by low monthly payments. Not only is this an affordable way to become a landscape designer – it’s also an incredibly flexible option for busy adults!

So, if you’re interested in becoming a landscape designer, or if you simply need some landscape design tips for the winter, we highly recommend checking out this Landscape Design Course!


We hope you enjoyed reading this article on the best landscape design tips for winter! Remember, if you’re not sure how to get started, or if you need help maintaining your landscape throughout the season, then we recommend hiring a professional landscape designer.

Got any questions, comments, or additional tips to add to our list? We love hearing what you’ve got to say!

And as always, thanks for reading… And happy designing!

UP NEXT: Learn how to start your very own landscape design business in just 10 simple steps!

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