The winter Blah’s are a real thing. The short hours of sunlight mean less vitamin D which can contribute to Seasonal Affective Disorder – basically, weather-related depression. Not only does the lack of sunshine add to this, but your snow-covered landscape doesn’t inspire much joy either. If you’re a dedicated gardener, you can keep your garden green all winter. Okay, not green exactly, but certainly a few shades of pink, red, purple, and white. Plants such as Helleborus orientalis (better known as Lenten Rose), winter pansies, and bushes such as holly and winterberry are all great cold-weather plants. The only downside to this plan is that these flowers need to be planted before wintertime in order to bloom. So let’s look at some things you can add right now to brighten the view from your window.
Snowmen were so last year. If you want to decorate your winter landscape, you have plenty of other options. If there’s enough snow, pick a fun shape and go out and sculpt it! It’s a great way to spend time with family and friends, stay active when most people are cooped up in their houses, and it will give you something fun to see through your frost covered windows for a few days. If you want something more permanent, look into yard sculptures or tree art. Yard sculptures come in a wide variety, from welded metal animals to poured concrete gnomes. Pick one or create a whole menagerie! If you want something more subtle, look for some tree art. Think of a Mr. Potato Head kit, but the pieces stick into your trees instead of a potato. You can get happy faces, scary faces, even a Bigfoot peaking out from behind the tree. Use your imagination and find whatever makes you happy when you look at it.
Everyone loves fall because of the beautiful colors of the changing leaves and everyone loves spring because of the beautiful colors of the flowers, but winter tends to be a stark white landscape that doesn’t inspire much joy. You can quickly change that with a few yard accessories. One of the easiest (and least expensive) ways to add color to your winter landscape is with homemade ice balls. Get some sturdy balloons and fill them with water. Now add a few drops of food coloring, tie the balloon, and shake gently. Now all you have to do is freeze them. If the temperature outside happens to be 32 degrees or less, just place them gently on your lawn and wait. If not, just put them in your freezer. Once they seem stable, pop the balloon and you’ve got large colorful marbles to place around the yard or your gardens. Bonus to this plan, when they melt, there’s no cleanup! Other options for adding color include painting murals on your fence, add some small colored solar lights, or just hang up some holiday lights and enjoy.
Brightening up a winter landscape involves appealing to ALL of our senses. If the deadening snow is just too peaceful for you, add a bit of ambiance with a wind chime. Chimes can be made of wood, metal, or anything in between. You can even buy them with specific tones if you prefer higher or lower pitches. Again, this is one of those things you can turn into a family activity. Go to the craft store and get some good reliable string, pick something for the center of your chime and find objects that make pleasant sounds when they strike it or each other. Try alternative items like metal spoons, shells, or glass beads. There’s no limit to what you can use as long as it sounds good and when you hear it chime you won’t only have a pleasant sound, you’ll also have a happy memory to think on.
There’s no reason to settle for a white winter wonderland if you don’t want to. Be the talk of the block and add some fun features to your garden this winter.