The fall season in Northeast Ohio is beautiful. The leaves transition through numerous colors of red, yellow, orange and more. Once they fall to the ground, though, it’s a much different story. The most common colors NE Ohioans see is white and brown. How can you brighten up your garden and landscape this winter? Here’s a few ideas to enhance your yard during the winter season:
Evergreens - A well designed Northeast Ohio landscape should have at least 75% of the plants as evergreen. When we say that, it does not simply mean a landscape full of spruce and pine, although they have their place in it. Evergreens can mean needled plants including the aforementioned or the softer needled Hemlock and False-cypress varieties (photo left). Many groundcovers such as Vinca or Pachysandra provide year round green carpeting when we get the many melts and thaws throughout the winter. They also help establish a lower maintenance yard. Interesting broadleaf evergreen shrubs such as Rhododendron, Azalea, Boxwood, Holly (also have showy berries) or Pieris (shown below) should be a big part of your landscape for winter show.
Pieris japonica ‘Mt. Fire’ – Mt. Fire Japanese Andromeda - This evergreen is a prolific producer of drooping white flower clusters. The hardiness zone for this plant is 5-8, which falls right into the NE Ohio area. The new growth of this plant is a fiery red which matures into a deep green. It’s an average size plant, slowly growing to 6 to 10 feet, and does best in partial sun / partial shade.
Plants with Winter Interest - Many plants that don’t hold their leaves can still provide stunning winter interest. A good designer will consider four season color and interest in any Northeast Ohio landscape design.