We all want a garden that looks great year round, but it can be hard to visualize the winter landscape when you are out in the garden planting in fall and spring. It is normal for plants to go dormant during the winter and for there to be more open space in your garden, but it’s also nice to have some color and structure.

So grab your coat and a hot beverage, and take a winter walk through your yard to see areas you could improve next year. Here are some tips along with a few suggested native plants that could be great additions to your garden for winter interest.

Consider adding a few evergreens that stay green year round such as our Eastern Red Cedar, Christmas Fern, or Wintergreen. Native grasses, such as Little Bluestem, may go brown during the winter, but add great texture until early spring when you can cut them back. Some of our perennials, including Black-Eyed Susan, also look striking if you leave their seedheads through the winter (the birds will be happy too!). River Birch has peeling bark that really gets to show off it’s beauty in the winter. Look for shrubs or trees that have winter berries like Winterberry, or flowers like Witch Hazel, for some interesting color during the cold days of winter.

Become a River Hero Home and receive discounts at several local nurseries including Cross Creek Nursery, Garden Gate Landscape & Design, Colesville Nursery, Glen Allen Nursery, Hummingbird Hill Native Plant Nursery, Sandy’s Plants, Forest Lane Botanicals, Reedy Creek Environmental, and Sneed’s Nursery!