If your winter landscape is looking pretty bleak, there are some simple ways to brighten things up. There is no reason that winter needs to be boring. Some simple additions to your landscape, such as containers with winter-growing annuals or ornamental grasses, can add beauty to an otherwise plain backdrop. In fact, just choosing interesting containers is often enough to significantly brighten the space.
Evergreens are another—perhaps obvious—choice for adding appeal to a winterscape. Evergreens such as Colorado Blue Spruce, Pines, and White Fir all help fill in that “barren” look as so many other trees have gone dormant.
Another popular way to create a beautiful winterscape is to utilize plants that produce berries during the winter season. These not only provide winter interest but typically attract various birds throughout the season. Planning your landscape with some of these plants is a great way to create a truly “four-season landscape.”
Winterberry: This somewhat non-descript shrub during the summer has great payoff in the winter. The attractive, bright red fruit of Winterberry not only looks beautiful against a snowy winter backdrop, it’s also eaten by more than 48 species of birds which is enjoyable for even the novice bird watcher.
Winter King Hawthorn: The Winter King Hawthorn is a four-season tree that produces bright red fruits, which attract many birds. It’s relatively resistant to common pests and diseases that plague other hawthorns. And come spring, the white blooms are quite beautiful in any setting.
Flowering Crabapples: This ornamental tree produces red or yellow fruit which often stays attractive well into the late winter—even after other flowering plants have died off. Because Crabapple trees are attractive year round, they are often referred to as the “jewel of the landscape.”
Beautyberry: This small deciduous shrub is known for the brilliant purple fruit it produces in winter. Its brightly colored purple berries grow in tight clusters and often remain on the bush until late winter. The Beautyberry generally has very few pest problems and is easy to care for.
While now is not the time to plant these trees, the winter is the perfect time to assess your landscape needs. Think of winter as a sort of “blank slate” and look for areas that could use some added appeal. Spring really is just around the corner and it’s important to plan ahead now. Come next winter, you’ll be happy you did.