When winter descends upon us, it can seem as if everywhere we look is a landscape of bleak grays. Chase away some of the seasonal blahs by creating a cheerful winter landscape in your own yard. Adding evergreens, colorful shrubs and other foliage can bring out a bit of pizzazz during the winter.
Hardiness zones. Be sure to check the USDA Hardiness Zone Map when considering plants and shrubs for your winter landscape. The climate zone map can help you decide if a specific plant will grow and thrive in your area.
Boxwood. Considered “Man’s Oldest Garden Ornamental,” boxwood has about 90 species with an array of forms and foliage, according to the American Boxwood Society. American boxwood, an evergreen, does well in colder, northern areas. It does bloom in spring, but it is mostly recognizable for its dark green, waxy leaves. Boxwoods are great for lining a walkway or patio area. They also can be shaped into topiary pieces to add a unique visual element to your landscape.
Shrubby dogwoods. Three types of dogwoods can offer color to your winter landscape. The bloodtwig, the redosier and the Tatarian dogwood each boast colorful stems, which add a splash of color to the gray tones of winter. The bloodtwig boxwood has woody stems of red and grows in hardiness zones 4 to 7. According to the USDA Plant Guide, the bark and twigs of the redosier dogwood are reddish to purple from autumn to late spring. It grows in zones 2 to 7. The Tatarian dogwood also has stems of red, but its foliage is green with white trim. It grows in zones 3 to 7.
Holly. Evergreen hollies are diverse, ranging in size, leaf shape and berry color. Holly berries can add a splash of color in shades of red, orange and yellow. Holly can be grown up to zone 7 for English Holly and zone 6 for American Holly, according to the USDA.
Ornamental kale. Ornamental kale, a bedding plant, loves the cooler seasons. Jimmy Turner, director of Research at the Dallas Arboretum, reports that fall kale transplants are usually green. However, the kale’s bright colors will appear after the first hard frost. For the best color, plant your ornamental kale in full sun and fertilize for continued growth. It will grow well in zones 7 to 11.