Winter Landscaping: What Plants to Plant in the Cold Season

Winter is a great time to spruce up your landscape with some unique plants and features. Ornamental kale and cabbage are some of the most popular winter annuals, and they come in a variety of colors and shapes. Camellias prefer acidic, moist, but well-drained soil that has a high organic matter content. The unique silver-blue foliage of blue ice marsh rosemary looks good in all seasons, but this evergreen vegetation cover also delights in a stroke of bell-shaped pink flowers in early spring.

Perfect for rock gardens and damp soils, it will attract birds and add interest to the yard all year round. For evergreen ground cover in colder climates, try one of the Siberian carpet cypress varieties. These short, colorful shrubs turn coppery purple in winter, and turn green again when warmer weather arrives in spring. Shrubs and hedges will also keep your landscape fresh and full in the winter months. These winter garden plants are low maintenance and frame front doors and windows perfectly. Make sure to keep shrubs and hedges neatly trimmed in winter to add order and structure to your garden.

Plants of winter interest may also include several types of perennials. Perennials of winter interest, such as ornamental grasses and evergreen plant covers, are especially attractive options. Although it will vary greatly depending on the growing zone, many perennials can begin to bloom during the winter season. Some bulbs, such as saffron and anemone, are often seen blooming through snow accumulations in late winter. Cabbages don't fear a slightly subzero climate and add soft shades of green, silver and purple to their landscape.

Be sure to plant them before the temperature drops below 40 degrees to allow germination, and you may want to consider planting some seeds every two weeks between mid-summer and early fall to continue your harvest through the winter. Cabbage is a particularly good choice for gardeners looking for attractive, edible winter plants to mix with other plants in flower beds and borders. If you care more about appearance than taste, you can also choose ornamental varieties that are even more attractive. Early winter is also the perfect time to prune trees and other plants so that they bloom in spring. Ornamental grasses and grass-like plants provide a unique texture and height to your winter landscape.

While winter landscaping plants will certainly need to be able to survive your winter garden climate, they should also be suitable for growing during other conditions throughout the year. Ornamental grasses remain dormant in winter, but their straw color and vertical shape look great in the winter landscape. Once you have your home interior in the Christmas spirit, decorate your landscape as an extension of your interior decor to achieve a cohesive look. There are also a number of dwarf varieties available that are easy to grow and make interesting focal points in the landscape. These perennials can be invasive, so consider planting them in pots or borders with a barrier to help control growth. If you care for them like you would feed the plants in your garden, you can also add edible viola flowers to salads and other dishes to add color to your winter menu.

In general, the key to successful winter planting is choosing things that fit well in your garden. Plus, check out the best plants for spring, for display from early spring to late spring. Other perennial varieties of azalea, camellia, and hellebore may also begin flowering before the official arrival of the spring season. If you give your winter landscape a distinctive structure with permanent features that are pleasing to the eye, it will create interest with little or no seasonal work. For example, most ornamental grasses remain dormant in winter, but their straw color and vertical shape look great in the winter landscape.

Even when covered in snow, these plants have a strong shape and act as a sculptural backdrop for the winter landscape. While there are a variety of stunning conservatory plants to choose from, no landscape is complete without a few unique landscaping elements.

Kara Mareno
Kara Mareno

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