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Just because winter can be a bleak, dark season, doesn’t mean that your garden has to mirror it. There are plenty of ways you can develop a garden that will still be colorful and pleasing, even in the frigid northern winters.
Making use of permanent fixtures in your garden for dashes of color is an easy way to go. if you have a trellis, weaving evergreen boughs through the lattice can provide some greenery. Another option is to simply paint the trellis for some year-round color.
Colored lighting can be used to make any sort of hardscaping pop. Small, flexible LED light strands can be fastened nearly anywhere, and are much more durable and energy-efficient than the bulbs of yesteryear. They also run cooler, so there is less of a worry of a fire if used in dry plants.
Holly bushes are a go-to for winter color, as the berries create wonderful bursts of red. Winterberry hollies are the favorite of these bushes, but there are a variety of breeds that feature red or gold berries, depending on the color you are looking for.
Some shrubs will also bloom into the late fall and early winter, although depending on your hardiness zone, you may be very limited to what you can have. Plants like the camellia, which has pink, red, and white blooms, can survive in some of the cooler zones – you’ll just have to make sure you are getting the hardiest breed.
Witch hazel, pictured at left, is a small tree that opens in the middle of winter, usually with orange or yellow flowers. Winter jasmine and star magnolia are two others that combine both woody bark with bursts of color.
You probably already have some evergreen trees, but if you don’t, this one is a no-brainer. Aside from providing color throughout the winter, trees like the pine and spruce also make for great privacy trees or windbreaks during the warmer seasons. They are low-maintenance, and they are unlikely to need much of your attention. They’re pretty much soething you can plant and ignore, with a high chance of success.
Cold-Weather Flowering Plants
There are a surprising number of plants that can flower and bloom through the winter. One that has become increasingly popular in recent years is the hellebores, also sometimes called the Lenten rose. They can survive in all the hardiness zones found in the United States, and will bloom in the depths of winter – many of them springing open in December or February. The blooms are a wide variety of colors as well, ranging from pale yellow, to magenta, and even with black blooms.
Indoor Container Plants
Of course, if winter has already hit and its too late to plant outside, go on and plant inside. keeping some container plants and placing them in the windows can make it look like you’ve got some outdoor colors, at least from your easy chair.
Go get some winter color into your life, one way or another, and maybe you can beat back the winter blues.