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Walk Off Calories and Plan Your Winter Landscape

Walk off some of those holiday calories and gather ideas for next year’s garden with a hike through your neighborhood, botanical garden or arboretum.

Look for plants that provide color, shape or form in the landscape.  Exfoliating bark on river birch, heptacodium, oakleaf and climbing hydrangeas stand out once the leaves disappear for winter. 

Late fall bloomers like witchhazel add unexpected color and fragrance to the shrub border.

Make note of trees and shrubs with colorful fruit you and the birds can enjoy now and throughout the winter. Viburnums, winterberry and chokeberry are a few shrubs to consider while crabapples, hawthorns and Kentucky coffeetree have fruit that persists into and through the winter.

A weeping katsura, spreading redbud or narrow upright Green Arrow chamaecyparis add interesting form to the winter landscape.

A bit more information:  Don’t overlook the more subtle features some plants can provide.  Seed and flower heads of hydrangeas and lilacs contrast nicely against evergreens, adding texture to the garden.