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Planting for Fall & Winter Interest

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Planting for Fall & Winter Interest

As cooler weather approaches our gardens can start to look a little dreary. Trees and plants start to drop their leaves, turf starts to go dormant and turn brown, and our perennial gardens drop flowers and are cut back. Our landscapes start to go to sleep, but there are many ways to keep vibrant colors and interest in the garden all year long. When creating a master plan for a property it is important to keep all four seasons in mind to prevent this sense of ‘winter blues’ in the garden.

At Element Outdoor Living, we design our landscapes to provide interest all year long. We try to incorporate evergreen plantings that provide structure and form the backbone of the garden as a whole. Our most used evergreen plantings are Fatsia, Cast Iron Plant, Podocarpus, Boxwoods, and Ligustrum. When selecting trees there are many options in eastern North Carolina that provide winter interest. River Birch and ‘Natchez’ Crape Myrtles both have unique bark that is pleasing to the eye even when all of the leaves have dropped. River Birch bark is typically lighter in color and gives the appearance of peeling off of the tree trunk, while ‘Natchez’ Crape Myrtles have beautiful cinnamon colored bark that gives a nice pop of bright color all winter. In the fall there are many options for bright leaves. Our favorite trees with bright fall color are Japanese Maples, Ginkgo Biloba, Red Maples, Black Gum, or Sweet Gums.

Trees & Evergreen plantings are not the only way to provide fall and winter interest. We also try to incorporate many smaller shrubs and grasses that have unique characteristics in the cooler months. Muhly grass is one of our favorites. This ornamental grass provides soft, green, natural texture to the garden all summer and pushes out deep pink feathery blooms in the fall. This grass is the perfect accent to fire pits and outdoor seating areas where you are sure to enjoy it’s beauty most of the year. Camellias also start to bloom in October. By planting both sasanqua and japonica varieties you will have blooming flowers in your garden from the start of fall to the very end of spring. Camellias come in all varieties of color and give the pop of color most gardens need through the fall and winter.

If you are interested in a master landscape plan or more ways that you can enhance your garden this winter please contact us today to set up your free consultation.

Written by: Alyssa Winfield

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