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If you live in a place with seasons, your garden probably looks like a sad, dead, brown wasteland from November to April. Well…unless you invest in smart and stalwart plantings. We checked in with our friend Kate Karam, editorial director of the nursery company Monrovia, for the best botanicals for year-round life and color. (Plant ‘em in the fall before the first hard freeze and enjoy their beauty 24/7, 365.)

RELATED: 12 Gorgeous Perennials That Love the Shade

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Pink Dawn Viburnum

After putting on a late winter to early spring pink flower show, this guy sports green leaves and cinnamon-colored branches. In other words, it’s a real showstopper shrub.

Preferred climate: USDA Hardiness Zone: 5 - 8

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Plum Passion Heavenly Bamboo

This plant offers exceptionally beautiful, colored foliage: New growth in spring and summer is a deep purple-red, which turns even redder in the winter. Versatile and durable, it also produces berries for added interest.

Preferred climate: USDA Hardiness Zone: 6 - 11

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Persian Ironwood

This small, chameleon shade tree has foliage that turns reddish purple in spring and matures to glossy green in summer before turning vibrant shades of yellow, orange, and red in the fall. In the winter, the bark even sprouts red, feathery flowers.

Preferred climate: USDA Hardiness Zone: 5 - 7

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Ember Waves Western Arborvitae

We love that this evergreen changes color in winter! The real drama arrives when the weather cools, and it transitions to deep gol, with glowing orange to russet red tips. Plus, it’s a vigorous grower and virtually disease-free.

Preferred climate: USDA Hardiness Zone: 5 - 8

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Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick

This unique, deciduous shrub boasts amazing foliage in the fall, and greenish-yellow plumes that stick around through winter, brightening up the landscape.

Preferred climate: USDA Hardiness Zone: 3 - 9 

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Flamingo Dappled Willow

Easy to grow and lovely to look at, this graceful tree offers variegated foliage of pink, white and apple green. The leaves resists heat scorch and stand up to rain and wind, and its shiny red stems add appeal to a barren winter landscape.

Preferred climate: USDA Hardiness Zone: 4 - 10

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Coral Bark Japanese Maple

How about that brilliant, red-coral bark? Better still, the color only intensifies throughout the winter season—and come fall, the green leaves turn a gorgeous, happy yellow.

Preferred climate: USDA Hardiness Zone: 5 - 8

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Virginia Creeper

This fast-growing vine easily clings to walls and other surfaces and grows faster than its cousin, Boston Ivy. The lush, green foliage turns bright red in fall and produces berries that birds love.

Preferred climate: USDA Hardiness Zone: 4 - 9

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Alpine Carpet Juniper

A native to the Rocky Mountains, this evergreen alpine plant has dense green foliage that produces berries in winter and provides cover for nesting birds and small mammals. Plus, it’s extremely hardy and and thrives in poor, rocky soil.

Preferred climate: USDA Hardiness Zone: 3 - 6

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Red Twig Dogwood

This deciduous plant’s bare, red stems create an attractive winter accent, and make a wonderful addition to any seasonal flower arrangements. Bonus points for the yellowish white flowers, which are followed by small blue berries.

Preferred climate: USDA Hardiness Zone: 2 - 8

RELATED: The 10 Best Early Spring Bloomers to Plant This Fall 

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