As Winter settles in, the last Autumn plants retreat into dormancy, leaving a swath of browns and greys across the once-green landscape. My primary instinct is to curl up with my seed catalogues and wait for Spring, but if you’re itching to add some color to your Winter landscape, here are a few good ideas that might tide you over until Spring.
A great way to add interest and color in a Winter garden is by planting ornamentals with colorful stems, berries or bark. Evergreens add structure to your landscape and keep color even in the deadest of Winter. Old standards like holly and boxwood are perennial favorites that have stood the test of time.
If evergreens like holly and boxwood aren’t your style, try a Winterberry or a variety of viburnum—the bright red berries will stand out and attract birds to your garden. The fiery branches of the redtwigged dogwood really stand out against a snowy landscape. Most cultivars of euonymus will stand up to harsh Midwestern weather—check out Euonymus fortunei ‘Emerald ‘n Gold’—a cultivar with bright yellow and green foliage.
If you’d like to brighten up a patio or deck, an evergreen planted in a colorful container might do the trick. Most species will do beautifully in pots with a little extra care. Try a boxwood or yew, and don’t forget to water regularly. Take care to shelter the plants or insulate the root ball with a hard freeze, and your evergreens will hold up beautifully all Winter long.