Cold-climate homeowners take heart! That beautiful garden you worked all season to keep in shape doesn’t have to hit the skids in winter. Not if you make sure to include these types of plants.
ORNAMENTAL GRASSES. What’s not to love about ornamental grasses? They grow fast and have the shape and size to make a statement in the landscape. Plus, they’re low-maintenance, needing little supplemental watering or fertilizer. The best thing: Most ornamental grasses continue to look good in winter, when there’s little else to look at. Wait till early spring to cut them back.
EVERGREENS. You may not give green a second thought in summer – the color is everywhere. But in winter, when the landscape is barren white or dingy gray and brown, green is gold! That’s where evergreens come in handy, offering a welcome palette that runs from forest green to gray green to blue green to kelly green. Don’t have room for evergreens? Save boughs from Christmas trees as winter decorations. Here, spruce boughs pair with cones, berries, and red-twig dogwood branches in a planter.
PERENNIALS. Not all perennials hold up in winter. Some, like peonies, simply collapse to the ground, where they’re covered up by leaves or snow. But rigid perennials will stand up to snow, among them rudbeckia, Russian sage, and Echinacea. The tan stems and rusty seed heads of ‘Autumn Joy’ sedum (seen here) look particularly attractive with a dusting of snow.