The 3 Best Things About Snow in the Garden

a house with evergreens covered in snow

The kind of scene that warms me up to winter. Photo: Helen Battersby

1. Like those foam covers for your beer can in the summer, snow insulates; a blanket that keeps cold things cold. What’s necessary in winter is ground that stays frozen, so plants remain dormant until the true warm weather of spring. The problem is winter thaws. Plants begin to grow, and when they get hit with a freeze it can be curtains. When shoveling, toss some of it on the garden. Be careful of salt though, as salt is not good for the garden.

Snow also insulates against wind. It’s not only cold temperatures, but wind that can dry plants out and kill them. A snow pile can also insulate the side of your house where the wind is strongest, or keep a dog house cozy in winter.

3. It makes everything pretty, especially trees and evergreens. Obvious, I know, but this is something that I had to learn by living in the country. I hated winter with a passion—to the point of being gloomy on seeing the first red leaf of fall: it was only an omen of the coming winter. Snowfalls in the country were magical, though, and snow stayed clean. (Even my white cat stayed clean!) I learned to appreciate the beauty of winter there. Now, in the city I welcome the whiteness of a fresh snowfall. Too much of that prettiness can be bad for your trees though if the snowfall is very heavy and wet. Brush some of the snow off the branches if this happens.

3. Free art materials! When you make a snow man, you’re really creating a garden sculpture and a mood lifter. I always smile when I see a snow man (or snow woman). Video above shows how if one snowperson is good, a whole pile of them are better, even a snow dog. You can make all kinds of shapes out of snow, it doesn’t always have to be a human or animal.

And if the snow isn’t right for packing, make snow angels. The video below shows the secret leg technique to get your snow angel solid on the bottom. Warning, you might want to turn down your volume as the music is pretty, shall we say, peppy?

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