Winter landscaping in snowy areas of the world doesn’t mean that your only choice is conifers. There are plenty of stunning options. You can create a winter landscape that appears as if it’s come straight out of a painting. The first question that to answer is which plants to rule out. Rule out plants that are not hearty enough to withstand your winter temperatures. Next, consider shrubs that attract birds these add extra beauty to your landscape. Winter landscapes can be blah and drab; with a bit of prior planning you can make your landscape something that you’ll enjoy looking at each day.
Evergreen shrubs and conifers add color to the winter landscape. Some evergreen shrubs have golden foliage for an extra pop of color. Shrubs that are low to the ground should be ruled out immediately. While they may look great at the beginning of winter, heavy snow will further hinder the plant’s height. Tall shrubs are better for the winter landscape because they will rise above even heavy snowfall. If you are one of the landscapers who also enjoys watching the lovely birds of winter, keep in mind that some shrubs attract birds and provide them with a comfortable home.
Some Things To Look For
There are certain characteristics that you’ll want in your winter landscaping plants. Shrubs with berries add a welcome burst of color to the winter landscape and also provide nourishment for birds. Branches that have a unique pattern draws the eye to them. The bark of trees and shrubs add appeal to the outdoor space. Look for bark that has an eye-appealing texture. Choose shrubs with branches that can catch and hold some of the snow that falls without breaking or bending under the weight. The delicate flakes lying on the branches will give a picture-postcard look to the landscape.
Winter Landscaping Plants to Try
As mentioned above, Conifers are a popular choice for winter landscaping; conifers work in all winter landscapes, but it’s nice to mention some of the other choices you have. The following are some of the excellent options for your winter landscape. Each of the following plants will add a ton of interest and beauty to your outdoor space. They all work well with any conifers you already have.
Christmas Holly Shrub
If you’re looking for foliage that’s year-round with beautiful berries, the Christmas holly shrub is for you. In addition to its beauty, you’ll also enjoy watching the birds feasting on the berries. While not all holly shrubs can withstand a cold northern winter, there are a couple of varieties that do well in this climate.
China Holly can withstand cold northern winters, as well as summer droughts. This lovely shrub is 8 feet high and 8 feet wide.
Inkberry Holly, unlike the red berries that are usually associated with holly, this unique shrub features black berries. The shrub itself resembles a boxwood plant. A 4 foot-8 foot height and less width than the China Holly gives it a more compact profile.
Red Osier Dogwood
You may be familiar with Red Osier Dogwood due to it’s stunning white spring flowers and white fruit. However, its beauty doesn’t stop once spring and summer are over. This plant grows up to ten feet in height. What makes this a stunner in the winter garden is the bark. The bark’s color ranges from burgundy to red. The color of the bark is gorgeous with the backdrop of white snow.
A tall and puffy perennial grass makes a wonderful statement in a garden. These tall, delicate grasses have a unique appeal. Plume grass can grow up to 11 feet in height and four feet in width. This ornamental grass is hardy enough to withstand harsh winters.
If you’ve ever smelled a bayberry candle, you know how wonderfully aromatic these plants are. Of course, you’ll have to get to the wax-like fruit before the birds do; birds love the berries of this plant. The plant’s foliage is a glossy green. Bayberry is drought-tolerant and winters well in zones 2-8. If deer are a problem in your area, this deer resistant plant is a great choice for you.
Hardy through zone 2, Cranberrybush Viburnum is a plant that keeps on giving. In the spring and early summer, white flowers give this rounded plant its beauty. As the flowers fade, tons of red berries take their place. You’ll love the beauty of the berries, and the birds will love eating these them. During the fall months, take note of the foliage on this stunning plant it ranges from red to purple.
Birch trees make this list mainly due to their bark. The bark stands out from the other trees on the property and it enhances the winter landscape in a beautiful way.
Yew Shrubs are considered a tradition at Christmas. The red berries and the green leaves are perfect for the holiday season. However, use caution around children as the needles and seeds are toxic.
Hemlocks may seem like a surprising choice due to their size; however, Canadian Hemlocks have been developed to be more like a shrub. These smaller Hemlocks add a nice touch to the winter garden. Use shears to keep them trimmed to the height you desire.
Not All Plants Are a Good Choice-A Couple to Avoid
There are a couple of plants that were once common in the winter landscape, but they should both be avoided. The biggest reason to avoid them is they are invasive, and once they take root, they will take over the yard.
Japanese Barberry is a rounded shrub, with lovely berries that continue through the winter. The plant has thorns, which is another reason to avoid planting it.
Winged Euonymus shrubs feature a flap on the bark that gives it a winged appearance. Its leaves are variegated and have a pinkish appearance during the winter.
While these plants are attractive, they have become less popular due to their invasive nature. To improve the look of your winter garden or landscape, contact Garcia Landscaping.