Planting for Winter Interest

By: Jennifer LaMontagne – Horticulturist – Bloch’s Farm – Green Lake, WI

Even when the winter months turn your garden into an all-white portrait, you can still add splashes of color. When choosing plants for winter landscape consider shapes, textures, evergreen foliage, exfoliating bark, and long-lasting berries. A combination of evergreen and deciduous plants brings out the best winter aesthetics in your landscape.  Consider a variety of these great selections.

There are many different types of evergreens that can add greenery and structure throughout the snowy months. Pine, spruce, fir, and hemlock are examples of evergreens with needle-type foliage. Juniper and arborvitae are examples of evergreens with scale-type foliage. Bloch’s farm has a large selection of dwarf, weeping, and specialty evergreens. 

Broadleaf evergreens such as holly (Ilex spp.) and euonymus (Euonymus fortunei) keep their color all year long. Holly is a very simple evergreen shrub with striking green foliage and bright red berries all winter long. The branches and berries are often seen in winter decorating and floral arrangements. Euonymus, also known as wintercreeper, is a small evergreen shrub that has large, round green leaves. Certain varieties have a golden-yellow edging that adds a touch more color. The broad leaves of holly and euonymus make them more susceptible to winter injury; therefore, it’s best to avoid planting these in locations with lots of wind and winter sun.

Chokeberries (Aronia spp.) have dark green foliage and bare white flowers in May that turn into red or black berries (depending on the variety), which last into the winter months.  The bitter-tasting berries serve as a food source for birds and are also edible for humans when cooked. Bloch’s Farm has three varieties of chokeberries available: Brilliant Red, Glossy Black, and Viking. 

Trees can be aesthetically pleasing in winter providing their colorful persistent fruit, like crabapples produce. Exfoliating bark adds unique touches in your landscape, as well. ‘Persian Spire’ Persian Ironwood (Parrotia persica), and certain birches and maples have distinctive peeling bark. 

Bloch’s Farm still has a wonderful selection of these and many other trees, shrubs, perennials, and spring bulbs. Colorful mums are also available to complete your fall look! Fall is a wonderful time to plant, so don’t wait, stop in today! Call 920-294-6000 or e-mail with any questions. Visit our website online at and our Facebook page.

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