The winter landscape can be kind of dull and dreary, with or without snow. To take the monotony out of your yard in winter, try adding color to your landscaping with some of these plants:
They may seem obvious for adding winter color, but think about the many ways these needle-leaved evergreens can be used. Pine, spruce, juniper, yew, and hemlock offer an amazing variety of sizes and shapes that fit well around your home's foundation, in landscape borders and islands, and along the edge of woodland gardens. For a different look, some yews, arborvitae, and false cypress have gold or yellow foliage.
Boxwood, hollies, and rhododendrons are just a few of the shrubs that hold their leaves over the winter. Some of the broadleaf evergreens have berries to provide further color, while others add yellow, red, or purple to the winter landscape with their foliage.
The multiple stems of red-twig dogwoods drop their leaves to show off bright red bark in the winter. They make great specimen plantings when placed in a location that will be highly visible from the street or a window of your house. Several Japanese maple cultivars also have red twigs, making them excellent accent plants for winter.
Photo: red-twig dogwood
Although they should be cut back annually, many of these versatile plants can be left standing until early spring to add form and color to your garden over the winter. They provide a nice contrast when placed near evergreen trees and shrubs.
There are some flowering perennials that will add interest to the garden in winter. Even after their fall color fades, the stems and flower heads of Autumn Joy sedum will stand out against the snow in your flowerbeds. Many hellebores, such as Helleborus orientalis (Lenten rose), have dark green foliage that persists through cold weather and snow. Liriope (lilyturf) has evergreen foliage in attractive, thick clumps.