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6 Plants that add winter interest.

In Eastern PA, deciduous trees and shrubs are without their leaves for about six months out of the year.  All perennials become spent after the first frost and start to bounce back in spring.   Luckily, we have a large amount of evergreen plants available in our area to act as the “workhorse” for the winter landscapes.


Evergreen shrubs and trees come in a variety of green tones.  Color is the main element for evergreens in providing winter interest; however, some provide us with more than just that.  Some evergreen’s form red or black berries, while some create an interesting shape and form to add to their appeal.   Shapes and sizes vary from tall, conical spruce to small, round cedar.  There are also plenty of “specialty shrubs” that have been grown specifically to look a certain way.


Evergreens do not have to be relied on completely to add winter interest in your landscape.  After the leaves fall, deciduous trees and shrubs can provide you some amazing elements.


Tree and shrub barks that peel add texture and reveal a second color in the older bark that contrasts from the new bark.  Plants that display colorful bark or provide berries highlight against snowy settings.   Branches that twist add a visual experience unlike any other.   Some perennials could also add a dimensional element when left untrimmed for the winter months.  Leaving ornamental grasses to display the dried out shoots not only add height but also create movement with every gust of wind.


Whether you are planning to add to your garden or planning an entirely new design, consider the forgotten winter season into your plans.  Planning a landscape with winter-interest adds an amazing element to your landscape that stands above the rest for the entire winter!


When the fall season finds its way into our area and the leaves of the deciduous plants fall make sure these plants are in your planting beds!


Morning Light Maiden Grass

This large ornamental grass stays upright to add height and interesting movement.





Carex ‘Bowle’s Golden’

Retains is golden thin foliage all year






Adds both height and color with its palm-like leaves.




Red Chokeberry

Bright red, pear-shaped, berries remain most of the winter.  Also has a reddish-brown, exfoliating bark that adds color to the winter landscape.





Most Dianthus retains its shape and color all year long.  If massed this plant will create a beautiful evergreen mat in the landscape bed.




Paperbark Maple

The peeling and exfoliating cinnamon-colored bark is visually striking, plus the late red fall color is outstanding


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