Creating Permanent Structure in The Winter Garden

Most people get caught in the trap of only planning/designing their outdoor space for the summer, which is important as this is the main time to use the space, however it causes the garden to lack interest the rest of the year.

The garden, no matter how much designing and planning, will always be different and quieter during the winter so its important not to expect the same level of wow factor during this time.

By obtaining permanent structure in the garden, a more interesting outdoor space can be achieved. The height of structures adds depth and balance to a space which winter gardens can lack, especially as plants aren’t as blousy or full.

The best way to create a permanent structure in a winter garden is to use materials that are designed to withstand cold temperatures and harsh weather conditions. This may include things like treated wood, concrete, or steel. Read our examples of permanent structures you can add to your outdoor space to create interest during the winter months.


Timber pergolas are a great way to add permanent structure to the garden. Adding dappled shade to the garden during the summertime and offering protection from the frost and snow during the winter. Timber pergolas can be freestanding or attached to the side of a building and can be customised with various design elements such as lattice work, climbing plants, and decorative finishes.

When selecting wood for a timber pergola, it is important to choose a durable and weather-resistant species. Proper maintenance, including regular cleaning, painting, or staining can help to extend the life of a timber pergola and protect it from the elements.


Archways frame viewpoints and guide you through your garden. Think of a window in your home, archways in the garden can be treated and utilised in the same way. In planning a winter garden, you must consider how the garden looks from inside your home and think about the viewpoints you want to frame when viewing the space from the inside.

Garden Cabins

If you’re stretched for space inside the home or are looking to enjoy the garden during the winter from a different perspective a garden cabin adds a different dimension to your space. Depending on positioning you can create a stunning viewpoint from your home, giving the garden extra height and interest.

Evergreen Pleach Trees

Evergreen pleach trees or even some no-evergreen pleach trees such as beech or hornbeam provide permanent structure and offer privacy if your garden becomes exposed during the winter months when neighbouring trees lose their leaves.

In pleaching, trees are trained to grow and interweave their branches, creating a dense wall of foliage. Think of a hedge on stilts, they give height where you need it, without casting the shade normal-shaped trees do. They also don’t require planning permission. They should be pruned and trained regularly to maintain their shape and density. Proper care and maintenance are essential for the success of pleaching, including regular watering, fertilising, and pruning.

Designing a garden for all-year-round use and interest can be challenging. When you employ a garden designer, they consider lots of moving parts, how you can use the space all year, and how the garden will look. If you’re ready for a beautiful garden 365 days of the year, speak with our garden design team on 0330 202 1955 to get started.


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