With so many pretty flowers and blooms to admire in spring and summer it can make the winter seasons seem pretty drab by comparison. That is unless you have planted for winter interest as well. While fall and winter may not be the season of bright hues, it certainly is the season of bright berries, mixed textures and stunning stems. The following are some out my seasonal favorites that can add visual interest and contrast in your home landscape, as well as provide food for the birds and can even be used inside the home as winter décor.
Winterberry (Ilex verticillata) – Bright red berries form late in the season on the branches of this Holly relative. The offer a meal for winter birds as well as last a long time in arrangements when cut for inside seasonal displays.
Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens) – A low growing evergreen groundcover that produces a red berry that persists through winter. Very pretty and as a bonus the mature leaves can be used to make tea while the berries taste of wintergreen.
Viburnum ‘Cardinal Candy’ (Viburnum dilatatum) – Huge clusters of red berries late in the season that provide a great food source for our feathered friends. This viburnum is very cold hardy and has pretty white flowers in spring.
Dogwood ‘Red-Osier’ (Cornus stolonifera) and ‘Yellow-twig’ (Cornus sericea) – Dogwood shrubs are great for a number or reasons. Their thick, clump forming habits create great brush-cover for birds and other animals. The bright stems of these varieties, bright red for the ‘Red Osier’ and bright yellow for the ‘Yellow-twig, provide a bright focal point and the white berries produced by both are beautiful and an excellent food source.
Liz Snyder, Landscape Designer