Winter in the Pacific Northwest can be a drab time. One way to make your yard more interesting during this drizzly season is to add a few new plants. Below, we offer tips for planting along your fence, as well as a list of suggested species for adding winter interest.
Tips for Gardening Alongside a Fence
Plant shrubs and perennials in clumps against a larger fence installation. Vancouver landscapers suggest this practice in order to make the largest visual impact.
Create garden beds with curving lines to soften the severe line of a fencing installation. Washington homeowners who appreciate the geometry of formal gardens – such as those at France’s Versailles palace – may instead choose to accentuate a fence’s straight lines with evenly spaced plantings in consistent patterns.
Carefully read plant tags to appreciate their size when mature. For fence maintenance, you’ll need to leave a gap of at least one foot between the fence and your plants. Make sure any species you plant next to your fence will not grow so large as to cut off access or otherwise threaten the fence.
Winter Interest Plants that will Look Stunning Against your Fence Installation
Washington and Oregon homeowners can plant these species for cheery spots of life in the darkest days of winter:
1. Hellebores. These are low-growing perennials that bloom in the winter and very early spring. Because they’re low to the ground, we recommend planting them in clumps for the biggest effect. We especially love the hellebores family for its variety; hellebore flowers may be pink, purple, white, or even green.
2. Sarcococca. These plants release a delicious scent during their winter bloom, while the glossy evergreen leaves of Sarcococca species remain beautiful all year. Pay attention to mature height when buying this species; some varieties will top out at 1 foot, while others grow to 4-6 feet and may therefore be used to increase privacy.
3. Winter camellias. These bloom in the very early spring, bursting forth with bright pink, red or white blossoms. Some camellias bloom throughout the winter, whenever the weather takes a warm turn. We do suggest doing some research before planting a camellia along your fence installation; Washington’s moist climate allows some camellias to grow up to 12 feet tall.
A few other winter favorites among Washington and Oregon gardeners are ornamental kale, winter-flowering pansies and witch hazel. All of these plants will add interest to your winter landscape. Just think: With such beautiful specimens soaking up all that rain, you might actually appreciate the Pacific Northwest climate this winter.