Ideas for Creating Winter Interest in the Garden

Most gardeners think of it as a time of rest, but winter is the perfect time to plan next year’s winter wonderland. Take a look around you. Walk your neighborhood or a nearby arboretum. What colors, shapes, textures, and shadows do you find appealing? Consider replicating them in your yard to enjoy for many winters to come.

Winter Beauty in Your Landscape

Winter is a time of special beauty and interest. Berries sparkle on shrubs under a layer of frost and ice, while other shrubs have shades of bronze leaves that cling and rattle in winter breezes. The leafless branches of larger trees cast dramatic shadows across the freshly fallen snow. Bark hidden by the leaves of summer stands out gorgeously in the winter. Barks of silvery gray, white, green, yellow, purple or red hues add a burst of color when the landscape is covered in white. Even barks that are deeply fissured, sleek as satin, peeling in thin layers or curiously pocked by a pitted surface give interest to a wonderful winter landscape. Dried grasses stand out in stark contrast against the backdrop of dark evergreens, shaking snow off their delicate heads. There is even the surprising red, orange, and yellow ribbon-like blooms of witch-hazel, which flower in mid-winter, or the delicate lavenders and blues of tiny species of crocuses poking their heads out from under the snow. Pansies are also a great addition for late-season winter color in your flowerbeds. Everywhere you look, there can be beauty in the winter landscape.

Top Plants for Winter Interest

Many different plants offer interesting features that reach their full potential in the winter landscape. Outstanding selections include…

  • Paperbark Maple (Acer griseum)
  • Threadleaf Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum dissectum)
  • Red Chokeberry (Aronia arbutifolia)
  • Shagbark Hickory (Carya ovata)
  • Blue Atlas Cedar (Cedrus atlantica ‘Glauca’)
  • Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick (Corylus avellana ‘Contorta’)
  • Winter Daphne (Daphne odora)
  • Common Snow Drops (Galanthus nivalis)
  • Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens)
  • Christmas Rose (Helleborus niger)
  • Chinese witch-hazel (Hamamelis mollis)
  • Winterberry Holly (Ilex verticillata) Need female and male plant for berries
  • Christmas fern (Polystichum acrostichoides)
  • Common Camellia (Camellia japonica)
  • Heathers/Heaths

Be sure to keep a list of what plants interest you as you observe the winter landscape around you. If you can’t identify them, take a picture and head to your local Master Nursery Garden Center for identification. While you are there, be sure to pick up Master Nursery® Bumper Crop® Soil Builder [Eastern & Midwestern Regions | Western Region] This exceptional, nutrient-rich soil amender consists of high-quality, organic ingredients.  It is the perfect soil enhancer to use next spring when putting all of your new plants in the ground that are destined to create a remarkable winter wonderland to be enjoyed for many years to come.

Need more gardening inspiration? Click here.

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