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How to Create Winter Interest In Your Garden

With the cooler weather coming, so too is the realization that yes, winter is approaching.  Many mourn the fact that they will not be able to enjoy their garden during these blistery days to come, but that does not have to be the case.  Whether you get outside in your garden during the winter to get some very fresh air or are gazing out a window longingly from your warm and cozy home, there is a way to achieve winter interest in your garden that will extend the months that you can enjoy your landscape. One of the ways to achieve this is to incorporate trees and shrubs in your garden that have wonderful features that stand out in the winter.  Whether it be through color, texture, or an unusual architectural structure, the following trees and shrubs should be considered as additions to your garden so that you can continue to get joy from your landscape during the offseason!

Burning Bush (Euonymus alatus).  Known for its gracefulness and striking red fall foliage, this stunning charmer also boasts having winged bark as its claim to fame.  The protruding ridges along the stems of this shrub provide texture and interest that are more appreciable once its leaves have dropped, as well as a place to catch the falling snow.

Birch (Betula). Whether in tree or shrub form, there are various types of birch such as Paper Birch (B. papyrifera)or Young’s Weeping Birch (B. pendula ‘Youngii’,) that offer the beautiful papery white bark that is so well known in landscapes.  Offering both color and texture, you cannot go wrong adding one of these to your yard.

Dogwood (Cornus)Depending on the cultivar of this shrub, you may choose ones with showy red bark, which stands out wonderfully against a snowy backdrop, or ones that have striking yellow stems. Plant Dogwoods in groupings for more impact!  Some cultivars to consider may be the Red Osier Dogwood (C. sericea ‘Kelseyi’), Siberian Dogwood (C. alba ‘Sibirica’), Silver-Leaf Dogwood (C. alba ‘Argenteo-Marginata’), or Yellowtwig Dogwood (C. sericea ‘Flaviramea’).

Corkscrew Hazel(Corylus avellana’Conorta’). The contorted branching of this shrub provides a wonderful architectural focal point, so make sure to put this great specimen in a prominent spot so that you can enjoy its sculptural effect year round.

Winterberry (Ilex verticillata).  Take advantage of the striking berries that these shrubs display.  The vibrant berries show up so well in a wintery wonderland!  Don’t forget to plant a male to ensure fruit production.

Crabapple (Malus). While these trees are thought of more for their profusions of blooms in the spring, there are certain cultivars of Crabapple that produce showy fruit which persist throughout the winter. These showstoppers offer a nice focal point within the landscape against the white backdrop of our winter canvas!  A couple of cultivars to consider are Malus ‘White Angel’ which offers a display of scarlet berries or Malus ‘Winter Gold’ that bear vibrant yellow fruit.

Evergreens!  Not very specific of me, I know, but it is imperative to include evergreens in your garden.  Because they always retain their needles, nothing looks as beautiful as an evergreen collecting snow.  There are just so many forms and sizes available that really there is no excuse not to have one. Whether it is blue or green, large or small, your garden should have some.  Take advantage of weeping forms such as the Weeping Norway Spruce (Picea abies ‘Pendula’) or Weeping European Larch (‘Larix decidua ‘Pendula’) for a really stunning focal point.

When planning your landscape, or simply making some fun changes within your garden, don’t forget to incorporate trees and shrubs that will draw your eye into the garden during the long winter season.  There is absolutely no reason why your landscape has to remain forgotten during these winter months.  After all, you deserve to enjoy your beautiful garden all year long!

If you need some help incorporating or planting these treasures in your garden, Rockcliffe Landscaping can help!   Please feel free to contact our Maintenance Department for more information.


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