Conifers provide texture, color through winter season

Rob Zimmer
Conifers form the backbone of the garden in winter, providing color, texture and beauty all season long.

Conifers in every shape and size show their true colors during the peak of winter when picturesque snowfalls decorate their branches and their beautiful colors are a showcase feature of the winter garden.

Evergreens are more than just green in today's world. There are conifers, or evergreens, that feature foliage in rich shades of blue, gold, chartreuse as well as traditional deep green. With some evergreens, you also get splashes of red and purple as new growth and cones begin to appear in spring and early summer.

Conifers provide much-needed texture, color and beautiful form in the garden during all seasons, but especially so during winter when deciduous trees and shrubs drop their foliage and many garden perennials have lost their flair.

An assortment of conifers in a variety of shapes and sizes forms a permanent backbone or architecture in the garden to last during all four seasons.

The classic conical or spire shape of many evergreens is the perfect complement to fresh fallen snows that decorate the branches throughout winter.

Weeping and asymmetrical or unusual form evergreens and conifers are becoming all the rage among landscapers and gardeners. These may twist, sag, drape their branches and sprawl in bizarre form in the garden, making them an attractive and unusual addition to any landscape.

There are also a wide variety of conifers that spread or sprawl close to the ground, creating a carpet of texture and color.

Miniature or dwarf conifers are among the hottest plants in gardening and landscaping, easy to grow, compact and useful in many garden situations.

Add unusual weeping and alternate form conifers for even greater interest during all four seasons. This weeping larch provides spectacular color in fall and early winter when its needles turn rich gold.

Colorful conifers

Combining colorful conifers in the garden is a great way to add interest all season long. In addition to the classic green conifers available, pick up a few gold and blue additions to create wonderful tapestries of color and texture that really stand out against winter snows.

The classic blue spruce is now available in many forms, including a large number of dwarf and miniature varieties, as well as creeping form blue spruce that are perfect for hillsides, slopes and rock walls.

Many varieties of juniper are available in beautiful shades of icy blue, as well.

Golden conifers are becoming my favorite class of evergreens, bright and beautiful in all four seasons. There a golden junipers, arborvitae, and others that are glorious in the winter garden, especially when perfectly placed alongside conifers in rich, powdery blue.

White-cedar, or arborvitae, is a class landscape and garden conifer, providing year round beauty, form and color in the garden.

An array of textures

Conifers are excellent choices for wonderful texture in the garden. From short, stubby needles to long, wiry fronds and scaly, intertwined boughs, The many different textures of conifers make them excellent choices for landscaping and gardening. Combine textures of various types for a rich display of garden beauty.

Songbird shelter

In addition to their visual benefit and architectural element, conifers are an excellent choice for gardens and landscapes where songbirds and wildlife are treasured.

Placing conifers near birdfeeders is an excellent idea as small songbirds such as chickadees, goldfinches and others have added security to escape hunting hawks and other predators.

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