With the chill of winter comes dead grass, leafless trees, and brown landscapes, right? Wrong! Luckily, if you want a summery green garden throughout the winter months, there are a handful of hearty plants that don’t just survive, but thrive during the fall and winter. Here are four plants that will keep your garden green during the snowy season.
1. Evergreen Holly
The red berries and green leaves of holly are synonymous with the holidays, so it’s no surprise holly can handle anything your winter garden throws its way. There are over 400 species of holly in the United States alone and the evergreen holly has a reputation for being one of the most resilient.
Evergreen holly gets its name from the plants leaves, which keep their shining green color year round. If you’re starting with a pre-sprouted or mature holly bush, you’ll want to plant it in the spring. Additionally, the evergreen holly thrives in acidic soil, so you’ll want a planting mixture with a pH of 5.0 or higher.
2. Cold Weather Vegetables
Nothing says green better than hearty vegetables. With that said, there are a number of vegetables that can handle fall and most of winter up until the first hard frost. These include broccoli, leaf lettuce, Swiss chard, and spinach just to name a few.
If you’re starting these veggies from seed for a winter harvest, it’s wise to grow and nurture them in planting containers before transferring them to your outdoor garden. Vegetables do best in lower acidity soils and, since you’re planting during the cold season, choose a location with a south-facing wall for wind protection.
If you’re looking for lustrous green leaves and a pop of yellow and orange to liven up your winter garden, then Calendula is the way to go. This bushy green plant’s flowers resemble daisies, but unlike daisies, they are able to handle weather extremes from fall all the way to spring.
The Calendula takes full sun and light along with moderate watering (depending on the rain and snowfall amounts). Calendulas tolerate a wide range of soils with varying pH levels and usually grow to just over a foot tall. As an added bonus, the cut flowers last surprisingly long in a vase.
4. Witch Hazel
Although you might think of witch hazel as an herbal remedy and astringent, the plant itself is actually a great addition to your winter garden. Classified as an understory shrub, witch hazel can actually grow into a tree that reaches over 15-feet in height. It’s dark green leaves and fragrant yellow flowers are perfect for spicing up your yard during the cold months.
Witch hazel does best in rich soils with pH levels of 5.5 and higher. When planting during the fall, put a thick layer of straw or mulch over the soil to help protect the growing roots from winter’s first few freezes. Also, it’s important to remember that witch hazel is not drought tolerant, so water often.
Splash of life and color
Some gardens are asleep when winter comes. But, that’s not the only option if you’re looking to add a splash of life and color to your outdoor living space. Before winter rolls around, keep your garden green by planting the cold weather plants above.