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Creating a Winter Wonderland

by Dawn West, All About Lawns Columnist

Just because it's winter doesn't mean your garden has to lose all visual interest. Sure, if you're under a couple of feet of snow, you'll have to learn to enjoy white. But between snowfalls, if your garden includes the right plants, you can enjoy great color throughout the year. Here are a few gardening tips to help you add a little more zest this winter.

Even if it's too cold for flowers, and the leaves have fallen from the trees, you can still enjoy a colorful garden. Here's how.


Look for Colorful Structures

During the winter, you get to see what's underneath some of your favorite summer plants. If your gardening includes bushes like, say, red twig dogwood, you can enjoy the architecture of the red branches even after the leaves fall. When you're buying plants, consider the winter look their branches alone will offer.

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Embrace Berries

Nothing brightens up a winter garden quite like berries. Take Winter King Green Hawthorn. It's got a beautiful silvery frame and produces bright red berries all winter long. Gardening that includes a variety of berries--white, yellow, crimson--is a great way to play with color long after flowers have stopped blooming.


Think Evergreen

No wonder we sing about Christmas trees--evergreens' color and life can almost single-handedly carry your garden through the darkest and coldest months. Dwarf evergreens are particularly terrific for flower beds, but whatever splashes of green you can get will keep your garden looking gorgeous all year round.

Winter gardening is not a contradiction in terms, so yours doesn't have to be drab half the year. With some four-season thinking, you can put together plants that will look great in the height of the growing season and in the depth of winter.

About the Author
Dawn West B.A. holds a B.A. in English from Harvard University and teaches writing at Oregon State University.

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