It’s a pretty common myth that you just have to succumb to winter and not have any beauty in your garden until the frost clears and Spring returns. You can embrace this season and enjoy your garden, and you can still have some great plants to admire, too!
Issues: none known.
Witch Hazel is a shrub that is used in many home remedies, but it also blooms very early on, even with snow on the ground. It has sweetly scented pale yellow flowers.
Issues: Dense foliage can present maintenance problems.
Rockspray cotoneaster is a spreading deciduous shrub which features five-petaled, small pink flowers in early summer, bright scarlet berries in late summer to fall and tiny, rounded, lustrous, dark green leaves that turn reddish-purple in fall.
Zones: 5-7, but can sometimes be found growing nicely in zone 3
Issues: needs acidic soil and constant weeding
Winter-blooming heaths feature tiny flowers in white, pink, purple, or yellow and they look wonderful in lining rock gardens or walkways, especially with the pops of colours in the snow.
Issues: needs pruning and may succumb to strong frost if not wrapped against the cold.
Holy bushes are a famous winter plant, especially around Christmas. They are deep green and feature bright red, small berries that look magnificent in a dull setting, such as that often offered by winter weather.
Issues: Likes acidic soil and full sun.
This tree is sometimes small enough, depending on variety, to also be considered a bush also produces berries that can feed birds, so you will have those to brighten up you winter wonderland, too.
Zones: all zones, depending on variety
Issues: needs trimming often
Add some colour to your flowerbeds by planting an evergreen hedge that lasts all year long. This makes your garden look wonderful all year long, but it also gives wildlife a place to hide from the winter weather. You can use large or dwarf hedges in just about any variety to achieve this look.
Don’t underestimate the beauty of fir and pine trees in winter. Snow falling on the branches can make any garden gorgeous, even if the garden itself is dormant. Maybe the key to a great winter garden isn’t just about the garden itself, but also appreciating the beauty of the season?
TIP: If you want a winter garden, plant in the Fall for most varieties to take hold and be ready for the cooler weather of winter.
Elizabeth Lampman is a coffee-fuelled Mom of 2 girls and lives in Hamilton, Ontario. She enjoys travelling, developing easy recipes, crafting, taking on diy projects, travelling and saving money!