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Five Steps to a Brighter Winter Landscape

Plant Hardy Winter Plants

Enjoyment of colorful plants and shrubs need not be limited to just the spring and summer seasons. For example, camellias or holly bush will retain its vibrant color through the winter—while as a bonus, female holly plants will also produce lovely red berries. In general, there are many varieties of cold-weather blooming shrubs that will add color and beauty to your winter landscape.

15 Striking Plants for Winter

1. Cabbage & Kale are some of the most popular winter annual plants. They lend a completely different texture to a winter landscape bed. Once the plants are hardened by cooler night temperatures they can survive most cold winters.

2. Camellias prefer acidic, moist yet well-drained soil that is high in organic matter. They flower in the fall and winter when their display of colorful blooms is most appreciated. The waxy-petaled flowers linger long on plants, displaying shades of red, pink, coral, white and bi-colors. Plants are evergreen, growing to form shrubs or small trees. Once established, camellias are drought-tolerant.

3. Winter Jasmine is an exceptionally trouble-free plant to grow and is a vibrant yellow color.

4. Holly Bush bring an eye-catching display of evergreen leaves that is often punctuated with bright red or gold berries.

5. Cotoneaster is another leafy evergreen that you can depend on for a dazzling berry show in even frigid winters. It's a fast-grower and can be used as a striking ground cover.

6. Japanese Maples often have artistically shaped trunks. The contorted branches on this shrub or small tree come into focus as winter arrives.

7. Nandina shows off its berries in areas with milder winters. Tuck these plants in front of solid backdrops so the berries can shine.

8. Native Serviceberries also earn rave reviews for snow-covered branches. Watch for white blossoms in spring, followed by tasty berries in June. Birds love the berries, so if you want any for a pie, net trees.

9. Doublefile Viburnum has a symmetrical, tiered branch structure that’s beautiful when covered with snow.

10. Red and Yellow Twig Dogwood each inspire with their colorful winter stems, which show up best against dark evergreens or a snowy landscape.

11.Witch Hazel a native shrub or small tree, opens strappy flowers in late winter to early spring. The blooms offer shades of yellow or orange and a sweet fragrance. Fall foliage is a striking gold, so this plant pulls double-duty in terms of seasonal interest.

12. Star Magnolia opens pale blush to white flowers with a sweet fragrance in late winter to early spring.

13. Lenten Roses (Hellebores) offer leathery evergreen leaves accented with rose-like flowers in shades of pink, red, maroon, chartreuse and white. Plants self-sow readily, forming low-maintenance colonies.

14. Winterberry Hollies are deciduous, and the berry-bedecked branches truly stop traffic.

15.Snowdrops close out winter with a flourish of color, courtesy of bulbs and perennials. Snowdrops grow from bulbs and return reliably year after year. Make sure to plant the bulbs during fall to give them the chilling period they need to bloom.

Paint Pots and Window Boxes in Vibrant Colors

If you have a lot of old clay flower pots or weather worn window boxes, simply clean and repaint them using a bolder palette. Your landscape will benefit from this new pop of color for not only the winter months, but all year long.

Consider Adding a Bird Feeder

Hanging a bird feeder outside near a window will bring life and activity into full view throughout the day. Bird watchers will be amazed at a winter feeder’s ability to draw in more and more birds as their regular food sources become more scarce as the season progresses.

Spruce Up Decorative Features

When is the last time you replaced your exterior doors or painted your front gate? Rethinking these features provides yet another great opportunity to add new color to your landscape. You will be surprised, for example, of the change a brand new front door can make to your home’s curb appeal.

Install Landscape Lighting

This outdoor feature will quite literally brighten your landscape, illuminating your house, walkways, and home entrances. Not only does landscape lighting add an element of safety and security, it will also enhance the beauty of your home during the winter. Think of how nice it would be to return to a cozy, well-illuminated home each evening!

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