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How To Make your Winter Garden Shine

by Dawn West, All About Lawns Columnist

It gets dark at 4 p.m. There's snow everywhere. You shiver just looking at your yard and garden. With all that, abandoning your landscaping completely until spring seems perfectly reasonable. But there is another way! If you want your winter garden to shine, don't buy space heaters to defy the weather, buy lighting that plays off its wonders. Do things right and winter can be a chance to show off your landscaping, not ignore it. Let these tips help you light your winter yard to perfection.

Winter is the darkest time of year, but that doesn't mean your landscaping has to fade into the night. Here's how to make it shine.
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Yard lighting any time of year is best when you focus on just a few spots (otherwise you're likely to end up with a prison yard effect). In the summer it may be your patio, a flowering tree, your favorite bench among the roses in your garden. What's stunning in winter, however, is different than summer. The bare branches of a tree covered in a glistening layer of ice, the inviting line of a path carved from the snow -- whatever you choose, play up the beauty of winter.

Think Beyond the Holidays

Christmas lights are a seasonal treat, but it's a shame to pull the plug on such sparkling landscaping enhancement just because the holiday has passed. Sure, take the Christmas lights down -- the mini-bulb strings, those jazzy colored-bulbs -- but don't be afraid to put some non-holiday lights up in their place. Larger bulbs, in white, (look for C-7 size bulbs when you're shopping) will make your garden lights look like a lovely and intentional act of good taste, not an accident of post-holiday laziness.

The dark of winter doesn't have to mean dull landscaping. With a little well-placed lighting, your yard and garden can be a pleasure all year long.

About the Author
Dawn West B.A. holds a B.A. in English from Harvard University and teaches writing at Oregon State University.

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