March 11, 2015

While most folks don’t give a thought to their yards over the winter in Ann Arbor Michigan, it’s actually a very good time to take care of some landscaping projects. Here’s a look at six ways you can make good use of winter and get a jump on spring.

Assess Your Landscapingbigstock-Red-Tulips-In-A-Garden-1139442

With trees bare and plantings pared back, now is a good time to get a good look at things that are hidden during summer. Check retaining walls, edging and walkways to see if they need repair.

It’s also the perfect time to see if your winter landscape offers enough color and interest. Most yards look pretty with a dusting of snow, but how do they look on a grey, rainy day? Take a few photographs from different angles, as if you were a stranger seeing your yard for the first time. Some things you could add for aesthetic improvement:

  • red twig dogwood
  • holly
  • evergreens
  • sculpture
  • brick or stone walls

Also, make sure your hardscaping elements installed for winter enjoyment are working properly, such as fire pits and hot tubs.

Monitor Winter Critters

Take a peek at the winter critters that visit your yard and make notes. Do you have pesky deer eating your shrubbery that would require fencing? Are rabbits eating the bark of young trees? Which birds visit the area that you would like to entice with bird feeders? That’s an easy item to add during the winter.

Check Your Existing Plantings

In between snows make a check of your existing plantings. Remove any dead leaves not needed for mulch, so your plants can get a little sun, especially towards the late winter. Pick up any dropped branches (you can always use them for fireplace kindling).

Check any recently planted trees or shrubs to make sure they haven’t been heaved out of place by frost action. It may be hard to replant them with the ground still frozen, so cover the root systems with mulch and make a note to replant in the spring.

Clean and Repair Tools

Sometimes in the fall you’re eager to get on with the winter holidays, and it’s easy to put away garden tools and equipment and forget about them. Now is a great time to take your mower and other power tools in for a tuneup, clean digging implements, oil and sharpen shears and make sure everything is perfectly organized for spring.

Inspect Drainage

Winter is the perfect time to see if your drainage is working properly–not a glamorous part of good landscaping but an essential one. Watch out for pooling water that could damage your foundation and lawn, as well as drains that freeze, preventing the conduction of water away from your home.

If you see drainage concerns, winter is the best time to call in a professional landscaper, so they can see the problem in action. You may need to regrade in the spring or put up a retaining wall. The winter cold and snow of Ann Arbor Michigan make it difficult but not impossible to put in French drains for water conduction if the situation is really bad. Professional landscapers can use winter trenchers that cut through the frozen ground like rock–definitely not a DIY job.

Plan for Spring

Now that you’ve had a chance to assess your yard over the winter, you can make a plan for spring, whether that’s adding a few plants or doing a complete makeover. If you find yourself missing flower and vegetable gardening during those long winter months, consider adding a greenhouse so you can enjoy your passion all year.

Winter is the optimal time to engage landscapers, as they are less busy, and some offer discounts. You can have your choice of booking on the spring schedule, so when the frost finally leaves, you’ll be ready to roll on your warm weather projects.

Get your yard looking its absolute best with custom landscaping solutions from Twin Oaks.

Find us online at, visit us in Ann Arbor, MI at 4100 South Maple Road, or call us at (734) 213-6911.