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Grow with KARE: Winter interest plants

Take a stroll in the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum and find great plants that look great in winter.

CHASKA, Minn. — Fresh snow highlights the different textures found throughout the garden. 

We strolled around the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum this week and found plenty of winter beauty.

Everyone talks about perennials, grasses, trees and shrubs for winter interest. Yes, grasses left in their natural state add beauty, interest, and movement in our winter gardens.  

Shrubs like Red and yellow dogwood contrasting with the white of snow, Curley Willow with their uniquely twisted, spiraling branches, Hydrangeas of all shapes and sizes with their blooms left on, all enhance our winter landscapes.  

While white and pin oaks leaves cling to the tree through the winter and drop when the new leaf buds grow the following spring add texture to the winter garden, red oaks maples and elms add stately visages and beautifully contrast with snow. Birches and aspens with their upright branching and unique bark always add to the winter snowscape. 

Berries that linger into the winter not only feed our feathered friends, but add a bright splash of color on shrubs like Winterberry, viburnums even the newer varieties of crabapple with their persistent berries. 

What’s more magical that when fresh fallen snow lands on the Evergreens. From the Christmas Tree like Spruce and Pines to the many dwarf varieties with the layered look of hinoki cypress to the Junipers from low growing to the upright bluestar and skyrocket. The irregular twisted branches of Hollywood junipers and the mounding uneven mugho pines all add Winter interest to our landscapes. 

So, the next time you go for a winter stroll around your neighborhood, woods or the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum stop and look around at nature in its Winter beauty.