Winter Foliage

From on December 19, 2008 in Landscaping

Winter Foliage

In a rare quiet moment of reflective solitude, I gazed out my window this morning and noted how bleak the trees appeared, so barren of any foliage. I remember their lush greenery only a few short months ago; isn’t it curious how a tree can go from brimming with life to dormant and bare so quickly? With gray skies and wet frigid air, winter days can become either depressing or cozy. What winter is to you has a lot to do with how you look at things. Bring your home and landscape to life this season by planting some winter foliage around your home.

Some climates are quite conducive to cultivating plants throughout the winter; but in harsher climates, only a few special varieties can survive. Here are a few that thrive in cold climates.

  • Camellias. These beautiful pink, white, and red blossoms love cold weather and with proper care will bloom all winter and for part of spring.
  • Winter Roses/Hellebores. The hellebores are a form of winter rosebush. These graceful flowers are durable and come in white, pink, maroon, and black blossoms.
  • Snowdrops. This groundcover-type little white flower is shaped like a little bell.
  • South African Shrubs. This category includes a variety of flowering and colorful shrubs that grow well during the winter season. The Safari Sunset and the King Protea are two in this family.
  • Rhododendrons. These vibrant flowers will bloom all-year-round in more mild climates. Your garden doesn’t have to sit idle over the winter either.

Supplement your dinner table with winter vegetables such as broccoli, kale, cauliflower, cabbage, collards, lettuce, carrots, and brussel sprouts. You can also grow cover crops to build up your garden soil in preparation for next year. Some commonly-used cover crops include fava beans and clover.

These are just a few examples of ways you can brighten your winter landscape. Obviously, each of these will do better in certain climates, and you should ultimately talk with your local nursery or landscaping contractor to determine which varieties thrive in your climate.