Most think that winter is a time to put away the gardening gloves, but it can be quite the opposite. Winter gardens can be an area of beauty and color. The bright blooms of winter flowers and trees--including the pinks of a flowering apricot, or purples on a winter iris--will be glorious and magical against a fresh coat of snow, and the shape of these colorful plants will become a focal point in the cool winter months.
For bursts of color throughout the winter, grow plants that have berry-like fruits and can withstand the cold winter months. Red chokeberry and winterberry have bright red fruits that pop against a white winter landscape. Beautyberry, with their stunning purple fruits, will brighten up the dreariest of landscapes and is a beautiful winter-loving plant. Winter crabapples, with their cherry-like berries, will sparkle through the snow and ice. Not only can they withstand the winter, but they can be brought inside to use as a tablescape during the holidays. Add them to a holiday wreath for a splash of red.
Woody plants, with their stems covered by thick bark, provide pops of color in the winter. The paperbark maple is an interesting tree where the trunk looks like pieces of peeling paper, hence its name. In the winter, this tree turns an orange-brown and provides stunning contrast and texture to the white winter. Another woody plant that retains color in the winter is the Japanese kerria. Its stunning yellow and green winter branches are the perfect addition to the winter garden.
Winter flowers that bloom during the off-season have vibrant blooms that flower throughout the winter season. Winter irises, with their stunning purple blooms, are beautiful in a winter garden. The lenton rose, which presents its vibrant flowers in the winter, is a stunner. A member of the Helleborus genus, this rose blooms in the winter and can even push through a blanket of snow. The dark green and leather-like foliage will contrast with the whites of winter. Another stunning plant is the Japanese flowering apricot. Its pink blooms remain active in winter and, against a bright blue winter sky, are magical.