Thursday, January 17, 2013
Suburban News

Great emphasis is often placed on spring and summer color when planning a landscape because these are seasons traditionally known for their bright colors.

Do not overlook how your plants will change in the late fall and winter when deciding what to plant, or you might miss the opportunity to watch the garden transform into a new and unexpected season of color.

Every season has a natural beauty all its own. Winter is no exception to this rule. Putting aside the pretty white snowdrifts, Mother Nature has left us with brilliant winter colors among plants and shrubs – if you know where to look.

Luckily, there’s no need to bring in exotic plants from around the world. There are a variety of plants native to New Jersey that will catch your eye long after the leaves have fallen.

It’s important to use native plants whenever possible to keep the local ecosystem in balance.

Here are some of our favorites to use in the landscape.

  Ilex Verticillata. Commonly called Winterberry, its bright red berries bring a splash of color to the winter landscape. It tolerates a variety of sun/shade/wet/dry conditions and provides shelter for a variety of birds.


  Itea Virginica. Commonly known as Virginia Sweetspire, it is a fragrant white flower that blooms in the spring and attracts butterflies. In the fall, the leaves turn bright red for many weeks. It is also tolerant of a wide variety of soil and sun conditions. Plus, it is a low maintenance plant that grows without a lot of attention.


  Red-Osier Dogwood. – Nicknamed “Cardinal” for the bright red color of the stems in the winter, it serves as shelter for birds in the spring. It tolerates a wide variety of conditions.


  Hamamelis Virginiana. Commonly known as American Witchhazel, this shrub or small tree is a source of nectar for insects as well as nesting for birds. It is a tough and adaptable plant that grows bright yellow flowers in late autumn.


Read the full article.