Spring Plants to Add Now for Winter Interest!

Great Plants to Spruce Up Your Yard in the Winter!

Info on some Great Plants For Your Kansas City Lawn!

No one likes a boring yard.

No one especially likes a boring yard in the dead of winter when you are peeking out your window for ANY sign of spring, and all you see is bleak and dreary, and possibly mounds of snow. You may want to see even a glimmer of green, or a spark of color to get you through those gloomy, grey days.

Of course, now that spring has beckoned you outside in recent days with the promise of milder weather, the last thing on your mind is probably winter. But a little thoughtful planning ahead now could save you from those long winter months of looking longingly out your window and seeing nothing but a winter wasteland.

This spring is the perfect time to install some plantings that will certainly “spruce” up your yard now, and be that welcome sight in the woebegone of wintertime. Imagine if the plantings in your yard could bring you joy and beauty, just as your yard does when in all its glory in the height of spring and summer.

All of these plants not only add to your garden now and throughout the growing season but also add visual interest and color during the dormant months of winter.

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Witch Hazel

Witch Hazel goes by the Latin name of Hamamelis. The plant is well known for its clusters of fragrant, spidery yellow or orange-red flowers which bloom in the fall and winter, usually from October to December, adding a pop of color and scent to your garden.

The plant gets its name "witch hazel" from the English word "wych" which means flexible or bendable, referring to the pliability of its branches. The plant has green leaves that turn yellow, orange, or red in the fall, depending on the cultivar. The flowers are delicate with a unique, spidery appearance.

Winter Berry

Winter Berry goes by the Latin name of Ilex verticillata. This shrub produces bright red berries that last well into winter, providing a beautiful contrast against the snow. The berries also provide a food source for birds throughout the winter. They start out green in the summer and gradually turn a bright red color in the fall.

It has smooth, gray-brown bark and bright green leaves that are oval in shape and have a pointed tip. In the fall, the leaves turn a bright yellow color before dropping off the plant. The plant is often used in hedges, borders, and for use in cut flower arrangements.

Red Twig Dogwood

Red Twig Dogwood goes by the Latin name Cornus Sericea. This plant is known for its striking red or yellow stems, which are especially prominent in the winter months when the leaves have fallen off.  It also provides color in both the summer and winter months.  

The stems of the plant are smooth and glossy, and range in color from bright red to yellow. Delicate white flowers bloom from late spring into early summer, attracting the neighborhood butterflies.  Birds also love this plant, but deers and rabbits avoid it. The shrub also has green leaves that turn a bright red color in the fall before dropping off the plant. In some species, the leaves are variegated, for even more visual interest.  With its unique look, and fast-growing nature, it is no wonder that Red Twig Dogwood is very popular for use in landscaping.

Lenten Rose

The Lenten Rose is known by its Latin name Helleborus.  This perennial produces flowers in late winter or early spring, adding color and interest to the garden before other plants have started to bloom.  It belongs to the buttercup family, Ranunculaceae. The plant is known for its beautiful, showy flowers that bloom in late winter or early spring, often around the time of Lent, which gives it its common name. It has dark green, leathery leaves that remain evergreen throughout the year. The flowers are large and bowl-shaped and come in a range of colors, including white, pink, purple, and green.  The blooms can last for several weeks. It is generally used in plant borders, rock gardens, and ground cover.

American Holly

American Holly or Ilex opaca. This evergreen tree produces bright red berries that last through winter, adding color and interest to the garden.  It is a slow-growing plant, and is known for its distinctive leaves and bright red berries, which are a popular symbol of the winter holidays.  It has dark green, glossy leaves that are oval in shape and have a spiny edge. The tree produces small, white flowers in the spring, which are followed by bright red berries in the fall.  As you may be familiar, the tree is also popular for use in wreaths and other holiday decorations due to its bright red berries.

Snowdrop

Snowdrop is also known by its Latin name of Galanthus Nivalis. It is native to parts of Asia, as well as Europe.  Part of the Amaryllis family, the plant is named for its small, delicate, bell-shaped flowers that bloom in late winter or early spring, often before the snow has melted/  The blooms last for several weeks. The foliage that is gray-green in color is used as ground cover, or in woodland gardens.  They are a hardy perennial that will continue to bloom year after year, and are a definite sign of the spring to come.


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Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick

Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick is definitely a unique name, and is otherwise known as Corylus Avellana.  This plant is truly unique and gives you a different look with each season. It has long yellow catkins (multiple blooms that hang down like a pendulum) that appear in late spring and early summer. Those distinctive blooms give way to large green leaves throughout the summer season, until the leaves turn color and drop off for fall.  Winter is definitely its showstopper season, however, with its unique twisty branches that definitely add some winter interest.

Coneflower

Coneflowers, Echinacea purpurea, are big friends of any pollinators! They provide nectar and pollen for butterflies, honey bees, and flower flies.  Birds, especially hummingbirds are also attracted by the coneflower’s daisy-like purple bloom.  They bloom freely and easily throughout the summer and multiply year after year.  In winter, if you do not remove the dead blooms from the stems the blackened cones become a winter source of food for goldfinches or other birds that feed on the seeds the cones contain. Their dark cones provide visual interest to your garden as well.   They are great for border plants, and are excellent cut flowers as well.

Planting in Jackson County, Missouri

Here in Jackson County, Missouri, we are located in growing zone 6A.  There are many other plants that could provide winter interest as well, so a visit to your local garden center would be a fun experience for exploration.   Before you go, however, observe your yard throughout the course of the day to determine how the sunlight affects where you are thinking of planting your new plantings.  Additionally, it's important to properly plant and care for these plants to ensure they thrive and provide winter interest for years to come.

Happy planting!

The Ask Cathy Team would love to help get you into a home with the yard that will grow with you for years to come! If you find that your current home is no longer working for you, we can help.  Connect with us today to schedule your free consultation.  We can go over any questions you have and determine together whether making a move is right for you.  Call us at 816-268-4033 or contact us here. 

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