Wednesday, April 28, 2010
One of the key things to be aware of when designing your Winter Garden is the range of your palette. It is comprised of four things; size, shape, texture and color. Generally your tree evergreens such as Spruces, Firs and Pines will be the largest and tallest elements in your design. there are many small evergreens that you have to choose from as well. Many of the Cotoneasters and Hollies make fine additions and help to add small accents of color. these plant types will be individually described in detail in later posts along with many others. The next thing to consider is shape. Many of the Spruces, Firs and Pines generally have a conical shape, however through crossbreeding efforts many new shapes have come to be readily available. I have seen many free form Spruces being used to accent a landscape bed. They can also be seen as bush shaped or global. There is a wide variety to choose from. The next thing to consider is texture. Evergreen leaves can vary from the needle form of most conifers to the spiny broad forms of hollies to the broad leaves of Rhododendrons. Just in the needles alone there are different profiles and lengths that all help to provide a range of choices. I have included some pictures of examples of different textures and colors. Finally color is an important aspect of your design. Evergreen colors are many covering from dark forest green to steel blue. They are generally on the darker side so they provide a great backdrop for smaller specimens. Be sure to always make sure the specimens you choose are correct for your climate zone. It is usually listed on the tag and if you are shopping at your local nursery you can feel secure that the seller has already chosen those plants that are hardiest in your climate. It gets more important when you are ordering plant material. If you have any questions do not hesitate to ask me in comments. 

Emerald Green Arborvitae

Mugho Pine Tree

Juniper "Bush"

Blue Spruce


  1. Very good photos..I simply love the evergreens and they are so good to your eyes.

    keep the good work...

  2. Great article. I love ever greens and have been planting them for over 7 years. Here are some tips you might find helpful.

    1. Make sure that the tree you are considering does not have an invasive root system, especially if you will be planting it near your house foundation, concrete patio, or septic system.
    2. Be sure the tree is not overly messy. Some trees shed quite a few seed pods, twigs, or nuts each year and can create a lot of work.
    3. Find out how high the tree will be when it matures. Trees that are higher than the house could be potentially hazardous.

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