One of the reasons we love the summer is the abundance of colors and textures in our gardens. As the spring bulbs waned, they were replaced with bright tones of perennials, flowering shrubs and, of course, trees. It’s hard to believe now, in August, that the colors will die and be replaced with the grays and dull browns of winter. But, with a little planning, we can enjoy a variety of color and texture all year long, adding interest and beauty to our outdoor space.
While many shrubs and trees are deciduous, their branches can provide color and interest even while dormant. Consider the winterberry shrub, which sheds its leaves but displays red berries in the winter, offering a showy contrast atop a fresh coat of snow! Red twig dogwoods are a wonderful choice for your yard, especially if planted where they can grow to full size, allowing their red twigs to be fully appreciated in winter. Pair with a yellow twig dogwood for maximum color contrast and impact.
Evergreen trees and bushes come in such a variety of greens, yellows and blues that they put on a color display all year. The blue spruce, next to a dark green balsam, offers beautiful contrast. Some varieties of arborvitae are yellow or gold, which provide an additional color, along with a variety of texture.
Deciduous trees can offer visual interest in winter, too. Have you ever observed the wide variety of bark textures and colors? In summer we tend to focus only on the leaves of trees, but the “peeling” bark of an American sycamore or the beautiful white bark of a birch makes them unique and worth a notice, especially in winter. And who hasn’t stopped to admire a Corylus Avellana Contorta, better known as Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick, when they first see it? This unique tree, with its contorted branches, grows to only about 15 feet tall and wide, but really packs a punch in terms of visual interest in winter.
Once you choose your landscape’s trees and shrubs, add more winter interest by installing some well-place landscape lighting. Well planned up-lighting next to an interesting tree gives it an ethereal feeling in winter, warming up your landscape even in the bitter cold. Pathway lighting next to low-growing shrubs provides a welcoming entryway for family and guests in winter.
O’Donovan and Son Landscaping has over 45 years of experience in the Naperville area, planning outdoor living spaces for your residence. Our large selection of trees and shrubs will make designing a landscape with four season interest a pleasure. We will help you select the right variety for your space, and include lighting choices and hardscapes to complete the design. Call us at 630-355-3370 to get your landscape design started.