Creating Winter Landscape Interest

The secret to winter landscape interest? Just remember S. N. O. W.

As winter wraps its chilly embrace around us, many folks assume that outdoor spaces must naturally surrender to a monochromatic slumber. Luckily, winter landscapes hold a unique charm and beauty of their own. 

The green, yellow and orange variegated leaves of Kaleidoscope Abelia.


Evergreen shrubs provide a consistent backdrop of color and texture in the landscape with vibrant foliage that contrasts against an otherwise subdued winter palette. ‘Kaleidoscope’ Abelia is as adaptable as it is visually stunning; its chameleon-like foliage transitions throughout the seasons. Multi-toned foliage can be repeated throughout the landscape with shrubs like Cast in Bronze® Distylium and Bohemian Beauty™ Leucothoe.

Soft Caress Mahonia bush with green leaves and yellow flowers in the middle of the yard.

NNo-worry Plantings.

At a time of year when travels are plentiful and winter weather dissuades us from going outside, opt for plants that don’t take much fussing and fretting to look their best. ‘Soft Caress’ Mahonia is a resilient shrub that doesn’t require pruning and adds remarkable texture to shady spaces with its feathery foliage. Lucky Charm Boxwood has a compact, rounded habit that will grow slowly and stay small. The dark green elongated foliage of this shrub can thrive in full sun to part shade areas.

Green and white bladed Carex Everest forms a border with brick edging

OOutdoor Light. 

In the darkest season of the year, a few well-placed lights can make your yard seem larger and add a magical touch by accentuating architectural features and landscaping. Strategically placed lighting can extend the usability of your outdoor areas by turning them into inviting retreats for relaxation after sunset. And our favorite part? Outdoor lighting can shine the spotlight on brightly-hued plants in your landscape, like EverColor® ‘Everest’ Carex with its distinctive, white-striped foliage that gleams in dark spaces and offers superb ground cover. ‘Little Miss Sunshine’ Cistus is a bright and cheery pick with a charming compact growth habit that will add a sunny touch to any garden space.

Screen Play Holly tree rises into wooded area.


Attracting wildlife to your yard in winter is not only a beautiful way to revitalize the landscape and create winter interest but also provides a critical service to our pollinators and wild birds! ‘Screen Play’ Holly is especially helpful to our feathered friends by providing nesting habitat, shelter, and food for winter with its bright red berries. Red Diamond™ Midsized Loropetalum shelters critters from storms and other elements while providing nectar for pollinators in the early spring.

Transforming the landscape into a canvas of winter interest can be easily achieved with a thoughtful palette of evergreens, seasonal blooms, and strategically placed lighting. Fill your space with warmth through a cultivated winter wonderland that captivates the senses.

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