Jeff Green | Dec 06, 2007
Feature Article - December 6, 2007 Back toHome Master Gardeners - December 6, 2007 How to Have a Colourful Winter Garden by Margaret Inwood, Lanark County Master Gardeners
From December through March, whether the ground is bare or covered with snow, you can enjoy your garden just by looking out the window.
In every winter garden, well-placed evergreens such as white spruce, dwarf yew, Alberta spruce, mugo pine and cedar add background colour. Shrubs such as euonymus, high bush cranberry, viburnums, cotoneaster, pussy willow, holly, dogwoods, and snowberry give colour and most of them produce berries for the birds to eat.
Deciduous trees such as flowering crabapple and mountain ash provide colour as well as fruit. Bird feeders will attract cardinals, blue jays, purple finch, chickadees, woodpeckers and grosbeaks. A sculpture that is made of winterized material can also be attractive.
Small flowering winter bulbs such as aconites, snowdrops, scillas and crocuses are a welcome sight. When the annuals have been removed from the planters, urns and window boxes, you can add boughs of spruce, or pine, bittersweet, red apples and balls of suet which includes sunflower seed. Birds are attracted to garden plants such as dill that has seed heads in the winter, and to shrubby plants such as rosa rugosa which produces orange-red fruit called 'hips' and thick growth that offers winter protection. The dark red berries of the staghorn sumac lasts all winter and this shrub looks good when partly covered in white snow. The form of many deciduous trees in winter is spectacular against the sky or snow, as are their shadows on snow-covered ground.
For gardening queries or information, phone Dale Odorizzi at 613-264-8135