Welcome to Lowe's
Find a Store

Prices, promotions, styles, and availability may vary. Our local stores do not honor online pricing. Prices and availability of products and services are subject to change without notice. Errors will be corrected where discovered, and Lowe's reserves the right to revoke any stated offer and to correct any errors, inaccuracies or omissions including after an order has been submitted.

Midwest Gardening: Winter Gardens Can Sparkle

Brought to you by Lowe's Creative Ideas

A well-designed garden sparkles in winter. Evergreens gleam, plants with berries twinkle in the light, and a dusting of snow makes it all the more beautiful.

holly berries in snow

By Marty Ross

Plants have to be resilient to survive snow, ice, and bitter-cold temperatures through a long Midwestern winter. Good choices of hardy plants and smart design keep your garden beautiful, even when the weather outside is frightful.

Every garden should include evergreen plants. Evergreens are the stalwarts of the winter garden, enlivening the landscape and giving flowerbeds definition long after you rake up the glowing autumn leaves. Evergreens cast elegant shadows — even by moonlight — when the first snow falls. But the garden show is not over. Evergreens also are important habitat plants for birds, providing shelter when cold winter winds blow.

boxwoods in snow

Pines, firs, and cedars have majestic presence in Midwestern gardens, especially with a bit of snow on them. Boxwoods planted along a front walk mark the way to the door for visitors and keep the garden looking lively during winter. Snow may seem like a tough pill for plants to swallow, but it insulates their roots from hard freezes. When the snow melts, plants can take up the extra moisture in the soil, and this is particularly important for evergreens.

coneflowers with snow on top

Summer flowers have a place in the winter garden too. Leave sturdy seed heads standing instead of cutting them off as the flowers fade. Coneflowers’ bristling seed heads, on stems more than 2 feet tall, cast wonderful shadows in the winter garden and look terrific with little caps of snow. Goldfinches and chickadees always find these seed heads, and pick out every little piece of food.

ornamental grass in winter

Tall ornamental grasses also invigorate the winter landscape. The blades of grasses catch the low light, and their inflorescences are showy. Leave grasses standing until early spring, when you can cut them back almost to the ground.

Don’t forget plants with berries: Bright-red holly berries seem to glow in the winter light, especially against their shiny, deep-green foliage. The bare twigs of deciduous hollies bear berries, and the display is striking. Many viburnums also produce showy berries (American cranberry bush viburnum is a good choice) that stand out through the depth of winter. Plant them near a window so you can enjoy looking at the colorful berries — and the birds that feast on them.

‘Jelena’ witch hazel in bloom

Despite snow and cold, most witch hazels bloom in midwinter. Their ribbonlike flowers unfurl on bright days, and curl up again when the temperature drops at night. Although the individual flowers are tiny, the plants put on quite a show when blooms cover the branches, which last for weeks. Plant witch hazels where you can appreciate their flowers up close, as you come and go.

blue ice garden with frozen shapes

Winter gardens can also be filled with whimsy. After a snowstorm, round up the kids and make a big snow-person in the garden, dressed with a jaunty hat and scarf. Or make ice sculptures by filling plastic tubs and bowls with water tinted with food coloring. Leave the vessels out to freeze overnight; in the morning remove the ice shapes by dipping the plastic containers briefly in a sink of hot water. Then let the shapes freeze together into totem poles in the front yard.

Creating Winter Interest in Your Landscape

It’s easy to make your yard look more interesting and inviting during the winter months. Discover great ideas for 10 different regions.

Learn More

Midwest Gardening

From spring through fall, Midwest gardens are flower and foliage packed.

Learn More

Gardening & Planting Tips by Region

Check out a variety of garden ideas, plans, articles, videos and projects for your region. No matter what region you live in, Lowe's has garden tips for you.

Learn More