8 Ways to Work on Your Yard This Winter Without Heading Outside

It may be staying cold for while yet in Minnesota, but Marianne Lipanovich has some awesome ideas to get ahead on your lawn and gardening this year. 

Winter weather can keep even the most avid gardener from working outside. But that doesn’t mean you have to give up all gardening activities until spring. Instead, use this time to focus on planning for later in the year or to knock out a couple of garden-related tasks that can be done now. Once warmer weather arrives, you’ll be ready to get outside and enjoy your space.

1. Pause and Reflect

Think back on the past year and how your space evolved through the seasons. What were your successes? Also think about what wasn’t successful or any areas that were overlooked. Maybe it’s time to add plantings to a neglected corner of the yard. Perhaps you want to expand an edible garden or add a shade tree. Now’s the time to brainstorm for the upcoming year.


2. Start Seeds

It may be too early to plant outside in all but the mildest climates, but you can get your garden ready for the season by starting seeds — especially annuals and edibles — indoors. Browse seed catalogs for familiar favorites and new possibilities.

Get your seeds off to a good start with the right light and consistent moisture. A sunny window will work well, or you can create your own mini plant nursery with grow lights and heat mats (available at local nurseries, home improvement stores or online).

3. Bring Your Garden Inside

Keep your gardening thumb green with an indoor garden. Many outdoor plants, including citrus, herbs and succulents, will thrive in a warm, sunny spot in your house. You can also add more indoor greenery with traditional houseplants, with orchids providing long-lasting floral color.


4. Welcome Wildlife

Not all birds fly south for the winter. Consider setting up bird feeders and watering holes for the locals to enjoy. (You can also set up feeding and watering areas for local animals at the same time.) If you live where birdbaths and small ponds will freeze over, look for heaters or devices to keep the water moving and ice-free.

Adding native plants is a longer-term solution that will provide food and shelter for nonmigratory birds and other animals.


5. Enhance Your Views

Spend some time taking in the yard from inside your home. Would a focal point, such as an accent plant or garden structure, help draw the eye (and eventually people) outside? Are there barren spots where new plantings could provide year-round interest and enhanced garden views? Or perhaps you need to screen an unpleasant sight or add privacy?

6. Research Landscape Pros

If you’re envisioning an overhauled design or any outdoor construction projects this year, now’s a good time to start researching professionals you might want to work with.

Pull together ideas, create a budget and look at possible timelines. Then contact your top pro choices. When the weather turns and you’re ready to begin work on the project, you’ll already have a team and a spot in the schedule.

7. Tidy Your Garden Workspace


Use the winter months to tackle garden maintenance tasks that can take place indoors. Clear out broken pots and materials you don’t use. Clean up and repair the garden tools you want to keep. Finally, ti

dy up and organize your garden shed, greenhouse or potting bench. You’ll be able to get started in the garden once the weather warms up.



8. Savor the Season

Sit back, relax and celebrate what the season has to offer from the comfort of your home. Pull a chair up to the window and watch the play of the rain and snow in the yard, enjoy the stark beauty of the bare branches of trees and shrubs or simply appreciate the cozy warmth of a pleasant garden view.

The Top 5 Bathroom Makeovers of 2022

Suzanne Ennis offers a great wrap up of the bathroom makeover trends seen in 2022.

A well-designed bathroom is often the result of months of planning, designing and construction that involves homeowners and a team of remodeling professionals. Our Bathroom of the Week series tries to capture a snapshot of that process with profiles of beautiful bathrooms and the details remodeling pros used to make those spaces look and feel good. To see what kinds of bathroom styles and features resonated most with homeowners in 2022, check out this countdown of the five most-read Bathroom of the Week stories of the year. Browse the collection, then click the link to each article to learn more about the update.

5. White, Wood and Marble for a Serene Space

The “before” version of this bathroom had a basic double vanity with minimal storage, a bulky and nonfunctional jetted tub and blah finishes — all of which made it far from the modern, spa-like sanctuary its owners were after. So they hired designer Kate Freund and the wife’s father, builder Patrick Sexton, to create this warm and modern “after.”

Without changing the basic layout (and with inspiration from Houzz), they added a new custom walnut double vanity with lots of storage and appliance pullouts. They also installed heated marble hexagonal floor tiles, a streamlined freestanding tub and a marble-lined steam shower that makes them say “spa-ahhhh.”

4. Clean, Contemporary Style for Empty Nesters

A couple worked with interior designer Sharon Kory to create this contemporary bathroom in their new-build home. Among the features that lend it a crisp and elegant look are a large built-in soaking tub, a gray double vanity with high-gloss acrylic drawer and door fronts, and large-format marble tiles on the main floor and walls.

Functional elements include a low-curb shower with 3-by-3-inch marble floor tiles that match the main floor tile but offer better grip, as well as a handheld shower within grasp of a built-in bench. Plus there’s a pocket door that opens to a toilet closet. A linen closet had been in the design too, but they retrofitted it to create a built-in coffee niche, a perk of not needing much storage.

3. A Curbless Shower Adds Accessibility

One of this bathroom’s owners uses a rollator walker and crutches, so their cramped, obstacle-filled original bathroom needed an overhaul with accessibility in mind. To that end, design-build pro Sean Onal removed a shower stall and jetted tub and created an expanded curbless shower with a built-in bench, grab bars and a mosaic-tile floor with good grip. The main floor has large-format tile with a white nonslip finish.

To improve maneuverability, Onal installed floating sinks and widened a narrow entrance. At the same time, he gave the bathroom’s style a major boost with a timeless white-and-gray color scheme.

2. New Style and Layout in 75 Square Feet

Tasked with turning a bland, awkward bathroom into a stylish and functional shared family space, designer Jen Montague Clark completely rethought the layout. She eliminated a tub and tiny shower stall in favor of a shower-tub combo with a hinged frameless glass panel. That freed up room to replace a single-sink vanity with a cool midcentury-industrial-style freestanding double vanity.

The old shower stall plus a sliver of an adjacent closet became a water closet with a pocket door, and plenty of recessed lighting brightened the space. Then, starting with patterned blue-green porcelain encaustic floor tiles, Montague Clark added warm, textured finishes. Now the bathroom can accommodate more than one person at a time and has a welcoming “affordable luxury” look.

1. Storage and a Spa Feel in 65 Square Feet

The most popular bathroom makeover of 2022 is also the smallest of the bunch, though it’s still spacious by most standards. And thanks to designer Amy Herbert — and design inspiration from Houzz — what it lacks in square footage it makes up for in style and efficient use of space.

Herbert replaced a shower-tub combo, impractical vanity and bulky radiator with a roomy glass-enclosed curbless shower, heated floors and a floating bamboo vanity and storage towers. The shower’s textured blue tiles complement the warm bamboo tones and enhance the room’s calming yet personality-filled vibe.