Winter garden ideas – how to style your garden for winter


If you’re only just getting started styling your garden, then you might assume that this sort of activity is something that’s only reserved for the spring and summer months. But what if we told you that there’s plenty of room in your outdoor space for some winter styling?

Bold, colourful, and packed with light, a winter garden theme can be just as striking and warming as those summer colours and motifs, so long as you select the right plants and avoid anything that might clash with the bleaker, more neutral winter weather.

So, if you’re interested in readying your garden for the colder months ahead, here are our top winter garden ideas, as well as some tips for winter garden room ideas you can try out if you have a summer house or conservatory that needs sprucing up.

Our winter garden design ideas

From bare-branched trees to climber-covered pergolas, there are plenty of areas in your garden that you can invest in over the coming weeks to ready it with that winter touch. Here are our five favourite suggestions to give you some winter garden inspiration:


1. Bare branches and colourful plants

If there’s one thing most of us associate with winter, it’s the bare nature of its trees and fields. But while this can make a garden look desolate, when used sparingly, a few bare-branched trees with distinctive and decorative bark styles can lend your garden a real sense of elegance, providing a spot for the snow to settle in interesting patterns.

Of course, this sort of minimalist styling won’t provide much on its own, which is why it’s essential that you combine these austere trees with a healthy selection of evergreen shrubs and winter-loving plants that will fill your garden with colour once blossomed.

2. Artistic hedges and topiary

Regardless of the time of year and your garden’s style, the humble hedge is arguably the backbone of any outdoor space, and none more so than in winter. Whether you let it grow wild or you keep it neat and trim with some topiary, you should use your hedge as one of the definitive points of your garden, a spot where you style your garden to draw the eye.

And speaking of topiary, while it looks fantastic in the summer, winter is where this art form really shines, especially once the snow and frost have settled and added a whole new dimension to the display. Sprinkle in some sculptures here and there and different heights of shrubbery and you can transform your space into a visual feast.

3. Lean into man-made structures

While outdoor structures like decking and patios are certainly more tailored towards use when the sun is out, this doesn’t mean you can’t add a few smaller man-made structures into the mix to create further focal points for your garden.

For starters, a pergola is an ideal choice if you want some evergreen climbers as part of your garden set-up, which can create a shaded and less snowy space if they’re given enough time to grow, while some neutral-coloured mesh structures and archways between shorter hedges will add a further layer to match your bare trees.


4. Grow winter veg

Growing vegetables is another garden activity that’s mainly seen as a spring and summer affair, but there’s plenty of veg that you can start planting sooner rather than later for harvest once the weather gets cold.

Carrots, fava beans, and other root vegetables, in particular, are well-suited to growing over winter, as they’re not overly exposed to the elements, meaning you’ll have all the trimmings you need to complete those Sunday roasts and stews.

5. Make use of neutral furniture

Although not always possible, there’s no reason you can sit outside and enjoy your garden on those warmer winter days, which means you need the furniture to go with it. And to save you buying specific winter gear, you should instead pick neutral and woody furniture that works in any setting.

On top of this, you should invest in a fire pit on your patioed or covered area to warm yourself in the evening and to keep your guests toasty over a steaming mug of hot chocolate. And if you can’t install a firepit, then a set of carefully spaced garden heaters is always a good alternative.


Making the most of a small garden space

As you may have noticed, not all of the ideas we’ve suggested are suitable for a smaller garden space. However, when it comes to small winter garden ideas, we recommend trying your hand at the most feasible ones we’ve listed above, but in moderation.

For example, you can still line your garden with a neat hedge and invest in colourful plants, but you should use a tiered garden bed system to make the most of your space, and some swaying ornamental grass for a tad of added movement.

On top of this, if your garden is mainly patioed and stone, then a firepit and heaters are going to be essential for creating a focal point for you to sit and enjoy your space, without needing to dress up in multiple layers.

For more tips on this sort of styling, you should read our blog on how to make your garden look bigger.


What is a winter garden room

Now that we’ve touched on some winter garden design ideas, let’s instead turn our attention to winter garden room ideas. And we’ll start by clarifying what exactly a winter garden room is.

Much like a summer house, a winter garden room is a cosy, insulated space that welcomes plenty of natural light through its windows, doors, and glass roof systems. And it doesn’t necessarily have to be a room in your home. From conservatories and orangeries to an outdoor garden building, your winter garden room is exactly what you make it.

Of course, to really get the winter garden aesthetic, you’re going to want to include plenty of glass features. Either a sliding door or bi-folding door is an excellent choice if you want to provide yourself with great views over your outdoor space while simultaneously offering easy access, while a set of French doors is ideal if you have limited room.

As for the contents of your winter room, be sure to pack it full of blankets, rugs, cushions, and other homely furniture to make it feel snug and cosy, letting you settle down and relax under those slanting sunlight rays.

There is plenty you can do with a winter garden room, and this sort of space is highly adaptable. For more ideas on what you can use your winter garden room for, take a look at our article discussing garden room interior ideas.


And there you have it – those are our top winter garden ideas that you can try out in the coming months to have your garden winter-ready before December rolls around. Of course, if some of our home additions have caught your attention, then you should get in touch with the team at Express for more information on the doors and windows we offer.

With over a decade of experience making bespoke home fittings, we’ll help you bring your brand-new home extension to life. Visit one of our showrooms in person to see our full range of products, and don’t forget to browse the rest of our blog for more articles like this one.

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