Landscape Design For Winter Color

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Winter is the time of year when everything in your landscape dies, or goes so dormant that the landscape looks dead. You're probably used to this, but it doesn't have to be that way. With smart landscape choices, you can incorporate winter color onto your property. These tips will help.

Berry-Bearing Evergreens

There are several types of evergreen shrub that bloom in late summer or fall and carry berries through the early- to mid-winter months. Here are a few examples:

  • Canadian holly - At a time when snow is on the ground and everything is white, Canadian holly bushes feature cheerful clusters of red berries. Holly berries have a lot of caffeine, which can be somewhat toxic, so if you have small children, this is not the right bush for you. 
  • Staghorn sumac - Stagohorn sumac (not to be confused with poison sumac) produces tight red clusters of berries in the fall. These berries last through winter, brightening the landscape and attracting birds to the area, which also creates visual interest.

Witch-Hazel, a Plant that Flowers in Winter

Next to your berry-covered shrubs, leave room for the winter blooming flower known as witch hazel. With strange-shaped blossoms that explode like little pom-poms, witch hazel stands out against a snow-covered lawn, with its bright yellow buds blazing. As a side note, the leaf, bark and twigs of witch hazel is believed to have medicinal properties, but don't use witch hazel unless you know the preparation techniques and proper dosages.

Bare-but-Beautiful Shrubs

Some shrubs are beautiful even when they're not in bloom and don't have leaves. These plants have colorful bark that stands in contrast with the gray skies and blustery cold.

  • Japanese kerria - This small and hardy plant has attractive and elegant light green twigs that stay green all year round. Even after the leaves have fallen off of Japanese kerria, these bare shrubs bring signs of life to dormant landscapes.
  • Dogwood - Like Japanese kerria, dogwood shrubs have colorful twigs that draw attention to themselves after their leaves have dropped. The difference between Japanese kerria and dogwood is that dogwood twigs are usually warm-colored, ranging in hues from yellow to orange to bright, flaming red.

Want more suggestions? Looking for other ways to introduce color to your winter landscape? Now is the time to contact a landscape professional. Your landscape designer can give you advice, make suggestions and help you discover which plants will work well on your property.

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11 November 2015

embracing swampy property and landscaping it

I have one area behind my home that is so swampy that I could not do anything with it. I figured that I would embrace the excessive moisture and find a way to incorporate it into the landscape design. I started working with a landscape professional to learn what plants would look great, absorb some of the water and require little to no maintenance throughout the year. He helped me find some great solutions for the problem and now, I don't look out my back window and see an ugly swamp, I see a serene environment that I love to call mine.