Gardening in the Pacific Northwest — it’s a joy for all seasons!

When you think of a garden — a lush, beautiful yard filled with colorful blooms and a range of lush organic shapes and textures — what seasons come to mind? If you’re like most folks, you’re probably thinking of the spring and summer months, right? A fair assumption, if you ask us. After all, that’s when the majority of folks who are so inclined tend to get out their green thumbs and invest their time, energy, and finances into gardening. And it’s not really a mystery as to why. 

Most climates across the United States are best-suited for flowering landscape plants throughout those spring and summer months. However, you and I, dear reader, know that the Pacific Northwest is a special place for a multitude of reasons, including the fact that, with the right strategy, professional guidance, selection of plants, and care techniques in place, that you can garden all year long — including the winter months. Better yet, it can be quite simple!

Winter gardening in the Pacific Northwest — what you need to know

As it is with any landscape or gardening project, planning is the crucial first step of ensuring that you have a successful winter garden. You must ask yourself, “What is my goal with my winter garden?” Are you looking for an array of colors, aromas, textures, and the feelings of joy that come with having flowering landscape plants in your yard and garden during the gray and rainy months? Or is it something else entirely? 

Whatever the case, it sounds exciting to us. The point is that you should have a clear understanding of what you want to achieve. Then, you can move on to some other important details, such as where you’re planning on growing these flowers, plants, or shrubs. Do you have existing boxes, pots, garden beds, or a dedicated space where you’re typically growing your plants in the spring and summer months? If you do and you’re planning to use the areas or containers for your winter blooms, then a certain amount of prep work is required. You can even take pen to paper, if you’re so inclined, and sketch these things out if you’re more of a visual thinker. This can be especially helpful if you’re working on this with a loved one.

We recommend treating these spaces as areas of constant transition. This mindset will help you think of your yard and landscape projects less as an event and more of as an ongoing process. This will keep you engaged with your landscape and help you stay on top of the prep and maintenance. In our experience, this can also help you enjoy the blooms you’re currently caring for while looking forward to those that are coming up in the next season!

Great flowering plants for your winter Pacific Northwest garden!

As we mentioned, we’re lucky to be living in a climate that is mild enough where flowering plants can still thrive, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t need to be selective! Not just any flower will bloom. Here’s are just a few of our favorites:

Clematis — The gorgeous leaves of the clematis are perfect for year-round coverage. However, especially in the PNW, you need to be careful that they’re not overwatered. This makes clematis perfect for trellises, fences, and other objects that would benefit from this perennial vine’s leafy greens and late-fall through late-winter blooms!

Winter camellia — This hardy perennial is really more of a shrub, and it’s a shrub that produces some beautiful flowers that come in an array of colors like pink, red, orange, and white. The hardiness of camellia makes it especially low maintenance for PNW homeowners and gardeners. Their blooms can sometimes grow to as big as five inches in diameter, and 

Ornamental cabbage — This cabbage, as its name implies, is for decorative purposes only and should not be eaten. These cabbage plants are cultivated for their beautiful colors and textures and are hearty enough to withstand the average Pacific Northwest winter. 

Ornamental kale — Similar to their friend the ornamental cabbage, this variety of kale is not for eating, but it’s still a feast for the eyes. Don’t expect either to bloom. Their texture, their color, and their drama all within the beautiful leaves they produce. 

Winter daphne — Another hearty, perennial shrub, winter daphne is a low-maintenance winter gardener’s delight! This evergreen flowering plant has bright, glossy leaves and incredibly fragrant flowers that grow in sphere-shaped clusters and feature colors of pink, white, purple, and yellow.  

Want more winter gardening advice — call a Pacific Northwest expert!

At Greenhaven Landscapes, we’ve committed ourselves to helping our clients achieve the yard of their dreams for nearly twenty-five years. We’ve flourished in this space because we work closely with each and every one of our clients. We encourage them to articulate what they love about their yards and how they can enjoy them even more, and then use our expertise to design options that allow them to make the most of their yards, no matter what size or shape, all year long. Everyone deserves the yard of their dreams. Would you like to make yours a reality?

Contact Greenhaven Landscapes today to experience the best that landscape design has to offer!