Fall and winter can bring about the cold-weather blues. In fall, the leaves are falling off the trees and when winter settles in, you are often left with just stick branches as scenery. There is a cure for the winter time landscape blues, though. Simply fluff out your landscape your yard with evergreens. They stay green all year round, and their foliage adds lovely color that will instantly perk you up!
Evergreens come in all sizes. For most yard-sizes, it is best to plant dwarf to intermediate sized evergreens. They are not only green in the winter but go with annuals and perennials in the spring.
The following guidelines on evergreens are broken up into two parts: shrubs and trees. Some shrubs are actually trees that are so small, they can be used as shrubs. (Here you can find the cold hardiness zones https://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/PHZMWeb/)
Microbiota Decussata (Siberian Carpet Cypress) spreads out as it matures and reaches a width of nine feet. Its height is 12-18 inches. It is bright green in summer, begins to change colors in the fall, and is intense purple in the winter. Its cold hardiness zones are 3 – 6.
Picea abies ‘Pumila (Dwarf Norway Spruce) spreads to a width of 3 to 5 feet. Its heights is 36 – 48 inches. Its needles are a captivating blue-green. This considered a foundation shrub. It can be planted next to the house to cover the foundation or next to a fence to hide it. Its cold hardiness zones are 2 – 8.
Pumilla Spruce is a variety of the above. It has dark green needles and grows in a rounded-shape, which is quite pretty and can be a focal point by itself. They are not as tall as the Dwarf Norway Spruce and takes twenty-years to reach its width of 3 to 4 feet. Its cold hardiness zones are 2 – 8.
Chamaecyparis thyoides (Heather Bun) is another colorful shrub. It is dark green in summer and purple in winter. Its height is 3 – 5 feet. Its cold hardiness zones are 3 – 8.
Pinaceae pinus strobus (Sea Urchin) is dazzling. It looks like a water sea urchin in shape. The foliage turns from chartreuse to pale green. It has wonderful pine smell and attracts butterflies, birds, and bees. Hardiness zones: 5a – 7b.
Pinaceae picea glauca (Fat Albert) is an intermediate height tree, 6 – 8 feet, with a silver-blue color. It’s a fluffy tree that is wide in proportion to its height. Cold hardiness zones – 5a – 7b.
Sciadopitys verticillata (Japanese Umbrella Pine) is a large tree and reaches a height of 20 – 30 feet at maturity. It is mentioned because it is unique with dark green, thick needless that have whorls at the end of the branch. Each branch looks like an umbrella. Its cold hardiness zones are 4b – 10b.
Thuya Arborvitae (Snowtip Cedar) has dark green leaves and silvery white tips on the ends of new growth. It’s seven feet tall at maturity and will accent a garden beautifully. Cold hardiness zones are 2a – 8b.
Thuja occidentalis (Skinner’s Dwarf) colors are red and brown/bronze during its bloom time. It is a nice contrast to other evergreens. It reaches a height of 4 – 6 feet. Its cold hardiness zones are 2a – 8b.
These are only a few of the evergreen trees and shrubs available. They were chosen because each of them has unique properties that will interest the beholder.
The benefit of using dwarf landscape evergreens is that it stays green all year. They need very little care once they are established in the garden. Azaleas and Rhodendrons are beautiful flowers that can be used in landscaping for color. They are considered semi-evergreens because they keep their foliage during winter, but will not bloom.