My front sidewalk lined with alternating dwarf barberry and euonymus and powdered sugar like snow.
We had our first little snow event in the Seattle area this morning, so I just wanted to share a few shots of the lovely foliage. Well, the foliage close enough to while still in my jammies. 🙂
Nandina ‘Gulf Stream’ peeking up through the snow and showing her jaunty red in the white landscape this morning.
The tips on this little half-high blueberry in the pots that mark my front entry walk are beautiful in every month of the year. AND you get fruit!
The foliage of sedum ‘Angelina’ go from gold to lime in winter. I LOVE how it looks in the lavender pot against the coral bells grape- purple foliage (‘Forever Purple’).
Euonymus ‘Silver King’ holds up like a champ in all kinds of weather and the gold shows up so well too!
Certain textures like this hebe are quite exaggerated with the snowy backdrop.
THIS is why I planted a variegated holly!
This ‘Threadleaf’ nandina looked SO lovely in the melting snow.
The stems where once intensely colored blue berries on this viburnum ‘Davidii’ reveal a rosy pink in the snow.
One of my favorite plants, Euphorbia ‘Silver Swan’ looks great in the snow too. I love that blue!
Speaking of BLUE! This chamaecyperis is one of the bluest blues year round and looks great against the hydrangeas for most of the year, even with the dried flowers.
The snow capped seed heads in black and brown of the Ninebark look neat weeping over under the weight of snow.
This Mexican Orange is not feeling like summer right now, but the golden glow of this evergreen foliage still brings us a bit of sun.
Since our new book “Gardening with Foliage First” is due out very soon, we feature berries, bark and all of the beautiful things that partner WITH great foliage. These bright red wintergreen berries are an excellent example for winter.
Ready for winter now? This is a good time to be inside and taking stock of your winter landscape to see how everything looks in the colder months and where you can tweak or add some more interest to your garden of foliage.
If you’re still doing some holiday shopping, consider (click the link) pre-ordering “Gardening with Foliage First” for the gardeners on your list and they will get it just after the New Year to begin planning their landscape for 2017!
Since we’re all about foliage it may seem rather strange to be featuring bare branches but we want it all! Yes we positively swoon when we come across a tree or shrub that looks as good fully clothed as it does in the nude. So here are a few of our bare-bottomed favorites
1. Paperbark maple (Acer griseum)
I suspect as soon as I mentioned colorful bark you thought about the coral bark maple (Acer palmatum ‘Sango kaku’) as a great example but I want you to consider two very different maples. The first is this paperbark maple, named for its cinnamon colored bark which peels away in fine strips; visible in all seasons but especially striking in winter. The foliage opens a soft green and fall color ranges from gold to salmon. This slow growing maple needs to be in your garden!
2. Lions Mane maple (Acer shishigashira)
The lions mane maple is grown for its twisted clusters of dissected leaves that have the appearance of a shaggy mane. This is a slow growing tree well suited to container culture when young. The spring and summer foliage is green but in fall the leaves turn yellow, gold or orange (mine seems to be different every year!). Yet the story doesn’t end there – notice the smooth green bark that is revealed when the last leaf has fallen silently to the ground. Beautiful
3. Ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius varieties)
Left and center; ‘Coppertina’. Right; ‘Diablo’
While the shrub twig dogwoods are an obvious choice for a colorful winter display with bare branches in fiery shades of red, orange and gold there are other options such as the ninebarks. Depending on the variety the foliage may be gold (Dart’s Gold), bronze (Coppertina) or almost black (Diablo) and all have clusters of white flowers followed by decoratives seed heads. They also have coarsely peeling bark on the older branches giving a marked striped effect.
4. River birch (Betula nigra)
While I will always love the pristine white bark of the Himalayan white birch (Betula utilis var, jacquemontii) and have three multi-trunked specimens in my own garden, I have to concede that the river birch (Betula nigra) is often the better choice. River birch is resistant to the birch borer and those pesky sapsuckers and other woodpeckers seem to leave this species alone. We planted a cluster of three multi-trunked river birch ( the named variety Heritage) in an area that is exceptionally wet, often with standing water in winter and they are thriving. With soft green leaves that rustle in the breeze, butter-yellow fall foliage and bark that peels away to reveal the smooth inner trunk that is….well as soft (pink) as a babies bottom – you know you’re going to like it.
Of course we have lots of other favorites and we’ll introduce you to some in our next book (Foliage First, Timber Press, 2016) but we’d love to know what your favorites are. Leave us a comment below or tell us on our Facebook page. Even better – post a photo to share. (Just make sure only the plants are naked please!!)
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