Creating Winter Interest in the Garden

Sweet winter homeAs fall colors fade and temperatures start to lower, there are still many plants to enjoy in the garden. Gardening in the Midwest should not be a three-season hobby; it should fill you with enjoyment all year round. In order to appreciate the winter garden you must observe the subtle beauty of nature and what interest it can provide. Imagine the Pin Oak’s resilient leaves, the sparkling, ice-covered berries of Holly and Viburnum, the graceful shape of a Japanese Maple, and the curling bark of the River Birch. The following list of plants will help complete your landscape with four season interest and enjoyment.

       Evergreens – look for differences in shape, foliage/needle color and texture.
Abies-Fir
Buxus-Boxwood
Cedrus atlantica-Blue Atlas Cedar
Chamaecyparis-Falsecypress (Dwarf Hinoki, Golden Mop, etc.)
Ilex-Holly (Inkberry, English, etc.)
Juniperus-Juniper
Picea-Spruce (Alberta, Colorado Blue, Norway, etc.)
Pinus-Pine (Mugho, White, etc.)
Taxus-Yew
Thuja-Arborvitae (Emerald, Rheingold, etc.)
Tsuga-Hemlock

       Persistent Fruit – is attractive, and helps feed the birds.
AHolly plant ronia-Chokeberry (red to black)
Callicarpa-Japanese Beautyberry (purple)
Cotoneaster (red, pink)
Ilex-Holly, especially “Winterberry” (red, orange, yellow, blue)
Malus-Crabapple (red, orange, yellow)
Pyracantha-Firethorn (orange)
Rhamnus-Buckthorn (black)
Rhus-Sumac (red clusters)
Viburnum (coral, red, blue, black)

       Bark
Acer griseum-Paperbark Maple
Acer palmatum-Japanese Maple “Coral Bark” varieties
Amelanchier-Serviceberry (grey and mottled)
Betula-Birch (salmon-cream, papery)
Cornus-Dogwood (shrub types, red & yellow twigs)
Metasequoia-Redwood

       Silhouette
Acer palmatum-Japanese Maple
Corylus-Contorted Filbert a.k.a. Harry Lauder’s
Walkingstick
Fagus-Beech (weeping)
Hydrangea-any (persistent flowers)
Ornamental Grasses-any
Picea-Spruce (weeping)
Prunus subhirtella-Weeping Cherry
Sedum spectabile-Upright Stonecrop
Taxodium-Bald Cypress “knees”
Topiary-any shape
Vines-any type

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