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Yard Looking Drab? Don't Shrug Off Shrubs for Next Winter

by Joe Cooper, All About Lawns Columnist

It's too late to do much planting before winter sets in, but there are a few kinds of plants that are tough enough to withstand temperature and moisture changes while adding some great color and texture to your yard. When springtime comes, consider these hearty shrubs for next winter, and plan ahead to give your yard a new look next year.

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Great Shrubs for Winter

  • Nandina
    A great, cost-effective option, nandina is an evergreen shrub that comes in a range of sizes, all the way up to 7 feet tall. Its leaves turn a reddish-green during the winter months, and it also features red berries for that needed splash of color. Birds don't love the berries from the nandina shrub, so the color sticks around.
  • Holly
    Most holly features rich green leaves and bright red berries, making them holiday-decoration-ready. (These berries can be bird food favorites, so be aware). There are a few different kinds of holly shrubs, including standard burford and yaupon holly. If you go with yaupon, it will eventually become a mid-sized tree that can be pruned and shaped.
  • Duranta
    The bonus of the duranta, a weeping shrub, is the white or purple flowers that bloom during the summer. These also attract butterflies, another nice aesthetic addition to your yard. During the winter, it sprouts yellow berries that are pretty hearty against the cold. (These are like the nandina berries--not bird favorites, so you're safe there).
  • Compacta or Euonymus
    Also called "burning bush" shrubs, these varieties feature a blaze of crimson red leaves during the late fall, making a dramatic statement in any yard. Its twigs are "corky," meaning they are sturdy enough to withstand winter snow. Some also produce orange or red fruit, depending on the variety you find.

If you decide to add shrubs to your spring landscaping list, remember that early spring and late summer are the best times. Shrubs are generally straightforward to plant, but consult your gardener, landscaper, or local greenhouse manager for tips if it's your first time. Another plus is that new shrubs won't need to be pruned for a while, reducing your maintenance and maximizing the value of these sturdy plants. In fact, over-pruning reduces its winter toughness. Keep shrubs in mind for some great color in your yard next winter.

About the Author
Joe Cooper writes education, home services, and design articles, and manages corporate communications. He holds a bachelor's in American Literature from UCLA.

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