Home Home & Garden Structural Vegetation for Enduring Winter Curiosity within the Mid-Atlantic – FineGardening

Structural Vegetation for Enduring Winter Curiosity within the Mid-Atlantic – FineGardening


Mid-Atlantic gardeners don’t have to have empty gardens in winter. With some considerate designing and the fitting crops, you possibly can receive a backyard stuffed with construction and winter curiosity that anybody will need to stare upon via the window on the coldest of days. Combining texture and type creates the perfect construction in winter gardens. The next are some nice structural crops that can be utilized together with others to type a strong winter composition in any backyard.

Townhouse Japanese crape myrtle
‘Townhouse’ Japanese crape myrtle has stunning, cinnamon-colored bark and grows in an incredibly upright type. Photograph: Michele Christiano

‘Townhouse’ Japanese crape myrtle

Lagerstroemia subcostata var. fauriei ‘Townhouse’, Zones 6–10

This crape myrtle has nice traits for year-round curiosity. It has fantastically upright trunks and branches and cinnamon-colored bark that appears hanging in wintertime. And but one can’t neglect its aromatic white flowers in late summer time to early fall and its yellow autumn foliage. ‘Townhouse’ does greatest in full solar. In contrast to widespread crape myrtle (L. indica, Zones 6–9), which might attain as much as 25 toes, ‘Townhouse’ will keep at round 15 toes tall.

Paperbush is a favourite for its bronzy bark, which contrasts nicely with its creamy white flowers. Right here, a mattress of white pine needles from a close-by tree (Pinus strobus, Zones 3–8) blankets the bottom in the identical shade as paperbush’s bark. Photograph: Michele Christiano


Edgeworthia chrysantha, Zones 7–10

This plant could also be hardier within the southern areas of the Mid-Atlantic. With an umbrella-like form, paperbush’s branches begin to bloom in January and February and might final as late as April. The showy, silvery flowers have an exquisite perfume. The shrub’s sturdy type maintains a powerful presence within the backyard all through the barren winter months. It appears to be like nice with an evergreen underplanted round it. It can fare higher planted in a protected area or nestled subsequent to a wall or hill. Native to the Himalayan forests, it does greatest in wealthy soil with safety from the afternoon solar. Make sure to take away suckers from the bottom of the plant to take care of a extra open type.

dwarf sweet box
The hanging evergreen foliage of dwarf candy field displays mild up into the branches of the paperbush rising above it. Photograph: Michele Christiano

Dwarf candy field

Sarcococca hookeriana var. humilis, Zones 6–8

Candy field might strike some as old style, however for good causes. Though delicate wanting, it’s a robust, versatile plant with multiseason curiosity. This shrub has an extended record of optimistic attributes: It’s evergreen, drought resistant, deer resistant, and has aromatic winter flowers. Dwarf candy field offers nice contrasting texture when planted with a shrub reminiscent of paperbush, and it performs splendidly within the Mid-Atlantic area.

Karl Foerster feather reed grass
‘Karl Foerster’ takes on an orange hue in midwinter with out drooping and shedding its construction. Photograph: Michele Christiano

‘Karl Foerster’ feather reed grass

Calamagrostis × acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’, Zones 4–9

This grass needs to be a staple in each Mid-Atlantic backyard. The shape and construction that ‘Karl Foerster’ offers might be impactful if the grass is planted en masse or utilized in accents behind the border. Tall and slender at 6 toes tall and a couple of toes vast, it may be tucked anyplace simply. Additionally, you can not beat this plant’s versatility, as it might probably deal with moist to dry situations in addition to solar to partial shade. As a bonus, it may be hardy to Zone 4, so perhaps strive it in a winter container.

Adams needle
Adam’s needle retains its shade exceptionally nicely into the winter months; stunning shades of turquoise and lightweight inexperienced look blinding in brilliant winter mild. Photograph: Michele Christiano

Adam’s needle

Yucca filamentosa, Zones 5–10

Who may neglect this southern native for the winter backyard? Adam’s needle can match properly into our Mid-Atlantic gardens, making a structural ingredient with its distinctive swordlike leaves. Though native to sandy areas of South Carolina to Florida, it’ll tolerate most soils however does greatest in dry, rocky ones. This shrub—sure, many yuccas that appear to be perennials are technically shrubs—is immune to drought, deer, soil erosion, and air air pollution. Its spiky teal greenness is eye-catching, particularly within the wintertime. It’s an exquisite structural addition to winter gardens.

For extra nice suggestions so as to add winter curiosity to your backyard, take a look at the articles beneath.

—Michele Christiano has labored in public gardens for many of her profession. She at the moment works as an property gardener sustaining a non-public Piet Oudolf backyard.