Your garden’s beauty doesn’t have to fade when summer’s flowers are a memory. With a little planning, you can enjoy your landscape year-round. An easy way to add winter interest to your garden is to plant low-maintenance shrubs that look good when the rest of the landscape is brown and dormant. Shrubs also provide habitat and food for birds and wildlife during the dreariest time of year. And many shrubs offer a bright spot of texture and color—even in winter—when you look outside your window on an otherwise gray day.
Before you fall in love with any shrub, read the plant description so you know it will survive winters in your USDA hardiness zone (find yours here). You also need to pay attention to a plant’s mature width and height; that quart-sized pot may not look like much now, but you’ll create a maintenance nightmare if you plant it too close to your house. Make sure to give it plenty of room to spread so you can enjoy its natural form as it matures.
By late fall or early winter, it’s too late to plant new shrubs in most of the country. But nurseries allow you to order for spring and ship when it’s time to plant in your hardiness zone next year. So, pick out the perfect shrub now, daydream of spring planting later, and enjoy creating a garden that’s beautiful in every season. Here are our picks.