Brrrr... when it's cold out we tend to long for spring and all the beauty that it brings. But, if you look around you can find plants that really shine in the cold weather. Many plants have foliage or bark that's color changes or intensifies in the winter. These are some of our favorites.
Nandina 'Fire Power' - This evergreen shrub isn't green at all in winter - but instead a vibrant red. Its a smaller Nandina reaching only 30 inches tall and wide. Plant it in full sun and water regularly. Fire Power is great in borders or containers. Coral Bark Japanese Maple - This upright form of Japanese Maple has bark that glows in winter in shades of salmon red. Early in spring as it leafs out it has very small reddish purple blooms. In spring and summer it is full of light green leaves that turn a brilliant yellow in fall. This is truly a tree with year-round interest. Plant in full sun to partial shade and water regularly. It will reach a height of 15 - 20 feet and width of 20 - 25 feet. 'Ascot Rainbow' Euphorbia - This wonderful evergreen perennial is a real treat. It has fantastic variegated foliage year round. In winter it becomes tinged with a pinkish red glow. And then in late winter/early spring it has clusters of chartreuse green flowers. Plant it in full sun with well-drained soil. It is drought adaptable. Ascot Rainbow is beautiful when planted in mixed perennial borders, annual beds, and container gardens. Sedum tectractinum - Chinese Sedum - This beautiful, thick succulent ground cover is a beautiful kelly green all spring and summer that has a great bronze tint in the winter. Plant it in full sun with well-drained soil. It is also very drought adaptable. Use it as a groundcover or to trail over the sides of container gardens. 'Color guard' Yucca - This is a strap-leaved green and yellow variegated plant that is tinged with a rosey pink in winter. It will ultimately reach 3 - 4 feet in height. It is great when used as an architectural element in beds and container gardens. Plant in full sun. It will require very little water once it is established. Creeping Raspberry - is a very flat, prostrate evergreen groundcover with textured leaves. In winter many of the leaves turn shades of red and yellow. Grow in partial sun with well-drained soil. Its great when used in mass to cover large areas as a groundcover and also to trail in container gardens. Red and Yellow Twig Dogwoods - The most outstanding feature of these dogwoods is their red or yellow stems that are very striking in winter after their leaves have fallen. They also bloom in white clusters of flowers in spring. And, they have beautiful fall foliage color that appears yellow, bronze, and red. Their size varies by variety with the largest varieties reaching 9 feet tall by 5 feet wide. Plant in partial sun to shade and provide it with regular water. They are beautiful as specimen plants or grouped in mass.