The approaching rainy season doesn’t have to mean diverting buyers’ attention solely to indoor features. Highlight the vibrant greenery of the Pacific Northwest to showcase your yard’s Winter usability.
Landscape features to consider
Covered patio. To create an entertainment area that’s protected from the rain, add a patio cover to your deck. Awnings may also work, but they are more likely to be damaged in storms. Once you have a covered area, add a patio heater to draw even more guests outdoors.
Rain gardens. Adding a rain garden to your property will attract wintertime wildlife to your garden, providing you with an opportunity to see beauty even in the darkest, coldest time of the year. Furthermore, rain gardens are an environmentally conscious way to handle the heavy winter rainfall endemic to the Pacific Northwest.
Selecting plants that shine in the rain
Oregon and Washington gardeners can create a beautiful wintertime landscape by selecting plants that will attract the eye even on cloudy days.
Here are a few suggestions:
Astilbes. These are perennial shrubs that produce feather-like flowers in the summer. As fall and winter come on, these flowers dry into intricate stalks, which add vertical interest to any winter landscape. Astilbes flourish in the clay soils that are common in the Portland area. Furthermore, they love waterlogged soil, so they thrive alongside ponds or rain gardens.
Ferns. Ferns often stay green all winter long in the Pacific Northwest. For instance, sword ferns’ arching fronds can provide a beautiful green feast for the eyes throughout the coldest months. Licorice fern is another cheerful choice for winter landscape design, as they break their dormancy in the early winter, sprouting out fresh new growth just after the New Year. Planting a few ferns along your front walk will draw visitors to your door.
Ornamental grasses. Ornamental grasses are like the exclamation points of the winter garden—their fuzzy seed heads bob and sway in winter storms. Grasses add texture and height to an otherwise bland design.
Bamboo. Bamboo is actually a grass that loses its leaves in the spring. In other words, bamboo will bring lush greenery to your garden throughout the winter. However, landscape designer service experts recommend planting bamboo cautiously, as this is one plant that can spread very quickly. If you want to plant traditional bamboo canes directly into the earth, you’ll need to install three-foot-deep barriers to prevent underground roots called rhizomes from spreading. (This is not true for clumping bamboo species, which are less aggressive.) Alternatively, you can plant bamboo in containers. This is a great approach to adding privacy to your winter landscape—designer ceramic pots with good drainage can be massed to create a “wall” of bamboo.
Don’t let buyers track in the mud
Finally, outline high-traffic zones where you (and potential buyers) are likely to tromp. Place pavers or stones in these areas so as to reduce the amount of mud that’s tracked into your home.