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Keep Your Northern Virginia Deck Colorful Throughout the Winter Months

Just because the hot, humid days of summer are gone that is no reason to let your outdoor living space languish. A few tricks can keep your Northern Virginia deck colorful throughout the long, dreary winter months. Dressing up your patio provides a splash of color and allows you to continue enjoying gardening long past Labor Day.

Begin by assessing your foliage and looking for any plants that have succumbed to the fall frost and are no long with the living. Remove any perished annuals from their containers and pull any dead leaves and flowers from the plants that are still showing signs of life. While removing dead plants may not brighten your outdoor space, it will remove signs of what has been lost and provide space for new plantings.

Plants in flowerpots and planters may last longer than those in the ground and if yours are still going strong, protect them. Move flowerpots or planters close to the house to provide protection from frost and other inclement weather. A roof overhang can protect plants from frost, but for added protection cover the plants at night with a light sheet of fabric or plastic and then uncover them in the morning.

Northern Virginia is in the USDAs Zone 7 for growth, making it ideal for replacing summer annuals with plants that will survive in cooler temperatures. While these plants may not produce the large, vivid flowers you have grown accustomed to during the summer, cool-weather annuals provide a splash of color. Choices such as ornamental cabbage and kale, pansies and Johnny-jump-ups all do well in cooler temperatures and may even last throughout most of the winter.

Plant ornamental perennials such as Japanese silver grass, dwarf fountain grasses, lavender and variegated yucca in containers for color all winter long. Other choices for cool-weather container growing include purple-leaved beets, leaf lettuce, mustard, spinach, Swiss chard and snap peas. Herbs such as oregano, parsley and sage are hardy enough to withstand cold temperatures and obviously provide fresh herbs for kitchen use.

Lost Creek Landscapes has served the entire Northern Virginia region since 1997 and is fully licensed and insured in Washington DC, Virginia and Maryland. For more information on winter landscaping ideas or for help with planning hardscaping, contact the professionals at Lost Creek Landscapes.