Top 10 Plants for the Winter Garden

January can be a frustrating month for gardeners. The winter can seem endless and other than making plans for the coming season there is little practical work to be done. Outside is a scene of bare branches and little more, but it does not have to be this way. This list of ten winter plants which I found on the Birds and Blooms website shows how they can add texture and color to a dull winter’s day.

Just because temperatures drop off late in the year, it doesn’t mean your garden has to follow suit. With these ten striking winter plants, it can still boast texture and hints of color, even during those cold, dreary days.

Coneflower

Winter Plants Coneflower

Echinacea spp.,Zones 3 to 9

This native plant attracts attention from summer till the next spring. Plant groups in a sunny space for maximum impact and put off deadheading until the snow melts. Because a coneflower’s prickly seedpod is so substantial, a bunch of them will add a big architectural element to any winter garden.

Heather

Winter Plants Heather Andrea Jones Alamy

Andrea Jones / Alamy

Calluna vulgaris, Zones 5 to 7

While heather is a celebrated plant throughout Europe, it’s often forgotten here in North America. This versatile flower boasts color during every season. From the little florets in summer and autumn to gorgeous foliage in winter, this beauty makes a strong impact in any garden with acidic soil. In locations where snowfall is light, insulate heather with mulch and pine branches.

Redtwig Dogwood

Winter Plants Redtwig Dogwood Bon Appetit Alamy

Bon Appetit / Alamy

Cornus alba, Zones 2 to 8

Here’s a very appealing, loosely arching shrub that grows quickly. The glossy green leaves turn maroon or orange by fall, and the vivid red twigs and whitish-blue fruit make for a colorful  cool-season show. This dogwood works well in a mixed-shrub border. It’s easygoing but prefers somewhat moist soil, and does fine in sun or partial shade.

See more at Birds and Blooms

Feature photo: Chris Hansen


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