The winter landscape doesn’t have to be dull, drab and full of only evergreens. There are many different plants and trees that can add a nice pop of color and interest and are beneficial to wildlife.

Check out this short list of blooms, berries and barks sure to shine in the cold winter garden! There are many more as well.


Lenten Rose Helleborus: late winter blooms that last 8-10 weeks

Witch Hazel Hamamelis virginiana: small native tree that comes in many varieties with fall color and winter blooms.

Native Berries

Winterberry Holly Ilex verticillata: bright red or orange berries, depending on the variety, which last through winter and attract birds

Chokeberry Aronia melanocarpa or arbutifolia: native, hardy shrub with red or black berries (depending on variety) that persist well into winter.


Red Twig Dogwood Cornus sericea: medium-size shrub with bold, bright red stems that stand out in the snow. A favorite variety is “Artic Fire.”

River Birch Betula nigra: With a few different varieties, birches are a classic tree for any garden.

Paperbark Maple Acer griseium: textured, copper colored bark that curls up and exposes a tannish inner bark.


Use any native grass, shrubs or trees for some texture and structure! Adding in a hardscape for a nice base or art element as a focal point also brings the winter garden additional structure.

Also remember to keep your native perennials up for the birds and insects over winter.


As always, winter is also a great time to begin thinking about your garden, so schedule a design in December or January. Winter is a great time to study the structure of your garden.