Why Plan Your Landscape Project in the Winter?

by Kelsey Haigh, Landscape Designer


It may seem counter-intuitive but the winter months are a great time to plan a landscape project you want to start in the spring.

Look out the window at your property covered in white. Now is the perfect time to envision what you want your landscape to look like once all the snow is gone. The colder, darker months are a natural time to reflect on things. The whole plant world is seemingly lying in wait, plotting it’s course for the coming season.

Romantic, seasonal notions aside, here are 4 practical reasons to start planning your landscape project now.

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Gravel garden in July : photo Kelsey Haigh











1.)  If you wait until spring to start your landscape project, it may be too late

 If you wait until the weather starts getting warm, it’s likely that the landscape designer and landscape team you’ve chosen will be working on many other projects that were planned months before. Depending on the size of a project, it could take up to 6 months or more to design and complete. By working with your landscape designer now, you’ll have more of his of her time to start planning your project.


2.) Winter planning gives you the time and freedom to create a unique landscape design

With months to go before work can actually start, you and your landscape designer can come up with a plan that you will live with, love, and enjoy for years to come. You’ll need time to analyze your site conditions, determine your needs, likes, and dislikes, and develop a design suited for you. If you start planning in the winter, you will have more freedom to do this. Of course, there will always be last minute changes, but having plenty of time for design makes it more likely that the result will be thoughtful, intentional, and just right for your home.

Now, with the luxury of time, expand your vision. What else could enhance your landscape? How might an arbor, a water feature, a fire pit, or even an outdoor kitchen elevate your enjoyment of your outdoor space? Now’s the time to consider how these elements could enliven your design.


3.) Planning in the winter allows you to think outside the window box

If you plan your landscape project in the winter, you won’t be able to tour a greenhouse to choose the plants you—and everyone else—knows about. Without the usual suspects in front of your eyes, you are less likely to overload your yard with whatever is blooming that week, a trap even professionals fall into. In winter months your landscape designer can introduce you to an array of perennials, grasses, shrubs, and trees that you may not have considered. The key to good design is to develop a clear framework and vision. Existing vegetation that you wish to keep can be thoughtfully incorporated with new plants. This can help eliminate times when nothing is blooming as well as periods when there is too much blooming.

One other important aspect you should remember while you plan your plan is to think of all four seasons. While you’re spending the cold months designing, don’t just think of what you want your property to look like in August but imagine how beautiful it can also look in February.

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Brown is a color!!   photo: Oudolf garden via NYTimes


















4.) Unique plants for your landscape design may need to be ordered

If your landscape design includes larger trees and shrubs, unique plants, or larger quantities, they may not be readily available or available at the size you want them. By planning in the winter, your landscape designer will have time to order these particular plants, ensuring they’ll be on hand when your project starts. Good planning allows you to consider and appreciate the huge diversity of plants adapted to the Upper Valley that will continue to impress you as they grow.


Getting started with your landscape design

Whether your ideas are a small ember or a blazing fire, spring will be here before you know it. Now is the time to turn your vision of what’s under the snow into reality. Peruse the flower catalogs, magazines, and websites like Pinterest and Houzz to gather ideas. Get in touch with your local landscape designer and start planning! Whether you’re a DIYer looking for some guidance or need a full property master plan, a landscape designer can help bring your project to fruition, creating outdoor spaces that improve your life and delight you every time you pass by, linger, or entertain friends.

To schedule a Design Consultation, call 802-296-3771 or click here