Are you experiencing the winter blues? There are things you can do now to your winter landscape to add color and pizzazz. Consider adding the following colors to liven up your landscape.
Green is the easiest color to add to a winter landscape with the use of broad-leaved evergreens, cedars, spruces and pines. I would only suggest using these if you plan to spend a lot of time caring for them. They are not well adapted to this area and have trouble with spider mites in hot weather.
Color is not the only factor to consider, leaf patterns, colored berries; ect can help enhance a landscape. Even trees with horizontal branching patterns are interesting if there is snow, adding white to the bark color.
The following trees and shrubs should be considered in winter landscapes:
Redosier Dogwood (Cornus stolonifera). The young
Stems of this plant are bright red during the winter months and become more intensely colored toward spring. Older stems are often pruned out during the spring to encourage more of the young, more brightly colored twigs. Redosier Dogwood is tolerant of shade.
Yellow Twig Dogwood (Cornus stolonifera 'Flaviramea'). This shrub is much like Redosier Dogwood except the twigs are bright yellow rather than red.
Winged Euonymus or Burning Bush (Euonymus alatus). This is the shrub that attracts so much attention in the fall because of the flaming red coloration of the fall foliage. However, the stems are also ornamental in the winter due to their winged characteristics, which tend to catch and hold snow.
Lacebark Elm (Ulmus parvifolia). This is the true Chinese elm. A tough durable tree, the lacebark elm adapts well to poor soils and extremes in pH. The bark is what really sets this tree apart during the winter due to its mottled combinations of gray, green, orange and brown.
River Birch (Betula nigra). This is another tree that has very interesting winter bark. The flaky bark is reddish-brown to peach colored and contrasts nicely with snow. River birch tolerates both wet and dry sites.
Also as you consider your gardening plan for spring, consider planting plants that when dried down, still add texture and uniqueness to your landscape (i.e plants with pods, grasses, etc.). The possibilities are endless.
For more information on landscaping, contact the Ford County Extension Office at 620-227-4542.