Why winter is the best time to plan your summer yard.

January 06, 2021

It’s January, the holidays are behind us, decorations are stowed away and your yard has fully settled into winter. All of which is really just a nice way of saying the rainy season is in full swing here in the Pacific Northwest. So why would you want to think about your summer landscape now? The trees are bare, flower beds are empty and the ground is wet. What can even be done now? Plenty! 

So if you think this is the year for a yard makeover, don’t get too cozy in your winter hibernation—it’s time to start planning! And here are the reasons why you shouldn’t wait…

  • Yard makeovers take time.

From the initial concept and design, through materials selection, permitting and installation of irrigation, hardscapes, and softscapes, landscape makeovers take time. Whether you are planning a completely new yard, only adding some special features, or just upgrading your irrigation system, you need to allow enough time to complete each of the steps. Those steps can take a few weeks to a few months depending on the size and complexity of your project. If you wait until late spring or summer to get started, chances are, your yard will be a worksite just when you want to get outside again and won’t be ready for play until mid to late summer, or even fall.

  • It is easier to see your space in the winter.

In spring and summer, when your yard is in full bloom and everything is lush and growing, it’s harder to visualize what your space could be. An empty slate is always easier to work with and winter gives you just that. A dormant and more sparse winter landscape allows you to really see the space you have to work with. Winter also has a way of exposing problem areas and any design flaws that are more easily overlooked in the summer. Identifying issues, before you start designing, or digging, will save you headaches and money down the road.

  • Contractors are more available now.

It stands to reason that landscape designers and contractors are going to be busiest in spring and summer. So why not get a jump on things and beat the rush? Start working with a designer now and get on your landscaper’s schedule. When spring hits, schedules can be anywhere from 6-8 weeks out. Taking advantage of the slower season will give you more flexibility in scheduling and also help ensure your project is completed by the time the weather warms up again.

  • Work can be completed during the winter.

There’s no denying it, Pacific Northwest winters are wet, but that doesn’t mean you can’t work in your yard. With the exception of an occasional snowstorm, landscape renovations can take place during all seasons. When the ground is wet, tarps can be used to keep the dirt from turning to mud, and doing base prep for hardscapes is the same process as during summer. Transplanting existing plants and getting new plants in the ground is more successful during the winter months with less stress to the plants and increased survival rates. Some aspects of an installation may have to wait for warmer weather, like growing lawns from seed, but for the most part, there is no reason to wait on your project for better weather.

As you start imagining your summer yard, you can browse our website and our blog for ideas and inspiration. You can also contact us and set a time to meet with a designer at Landscape East & West, planning summer yards in the dead of winter is a favorite activity!