Shrubs for Winter Interest
While flowering shrubs are fantastic through the spring and summer, to truly get color year-round, we need to look at shrubs that provide winter interest. This can be accomplished through evergreen foliage, colorful branches, or berries.
If you lean towards a more formal planting, boxwoods are great with their neat, tight forms that require minimal maintenance. Chicagoland Green is a popular variety known for its cold tolerance and compact growth. Green Velvet is a smaller variety that holds its glossy green color through the winter. All boxwoods benefit from some winter protection. Winter Gem is a variety that does best situated on the north side, protected from wind.
Red berries popping against snow covered backgrounds is a timeless look in the winter. Cranberry Cotoneaster – as its name implies – has cranberry sized red berries that persist through the winter. Red Chokeberry is a great deciduous shrub that lends towards creating a hedge. Not only does it give you great red fall color, its red berries persist through the winter.
Not all shrubs are grown for their foliage, its what shows up after the leaves had fallen that is the real show stopper.
Red Twig Dogwood is often a shrub used as a background plant. However, its flashy red stems in winter make it stand out. Arctic Fire Dogwood is a smaller variety that is easier to integrate into the landscape and still get those dark red twigs.
If you are looking for a focal shrub that has everyone asking, “What is that?”, Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick is it. This slow growing deciduous shrub is known for its interesting gnarled and twisted branches. While it will capture your attention year-round, the show yellowish-green catkins are striking in the winter.
Ready to add some winter interest to your yard? Our Landscape Architects can help you make that happen.
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