You don’t need to settle for a monochromatic winter landscape. Indeed, adding plants that provide winter color and invite birds to your landscape will create lovely focal points you can view from the comfort of your home.
The five must-have winter plants for your Northern Virginia landscape include:
- Winterberry holly (Ilex verticillata)
- American holly (Ilex opaca)
- Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) and black-eyed Susans (Rudbeckias)
- Red and yellow twig dogwood shrubs (Cornus)
- Autumn Joy stonecrop (Hylotelephium ‘Herbstfreude’ Autumn Joy).
A Splash of Color with Winterberry Holly
If you’re looking for a wow factor for your landscape over the winter, look no further than winterberry holly (Ilex verticillata). The bold red berries of the winterberry holly stand out against a drab winter background.
Winterberry holly comes in three different color varieties:
- Bright red
Winterberry holly is native to the United States and will do well in your landscape. It’s deciduous and will lose its leaves in the fall. Plus, birds and small mammals love the berries and will visit your yard when these berries are at their brightest.
Since winterberry hollies are dioecious, you’ll need to plant both a female and a male shrub to ensure they produce spring flowers and winter berries.
Evergreen Charm for Your Yard with American Holly
A year-round favorite to add to a floral arrangement and for classic Christmas decoration, the American holly (Ilex opaca) is another native of Northern Virginia landscapes. When the American holly is young, its shape is more like a pyramid, and as it grows to maturity, the tree will take on a more conical shape.
The American holly is an evergreen tree that produces white flowers that turn into crimson berries in the winter. Like the winterberry, the American holly needs a male and female specimen in your landscape to produce flowers and fruit.
American holly berries are a bird and small mammal magnet during the wintertime. Also, you can use American holly cuttings for holiday wreaths and floral arrangements.
Since American hollies are trees, you can use them as a backdrop to a freestanding outdoor fireplace, in a grouping of other trees and shrubs, or group them to provide privacy.
Winter Texture and Food with Coneflowers and Black-Eyed Susans
Coneflowers (Echinacea purpurea) and black-eyed Susans (Rudbeckias) are native plants that beautify your landscape with purples, yellows, and browns during the summer.
If you don’t cut back these native plants’ seedheads, American goldfinches, and other birds will pull the seeds for food. Also, coneflowers and black-eyed Susans add texture to your flowerbeds in the fall and winter.
If you want to attract and add various birds to your backyard, you can also place bird feeders outside filled with suet and seed.
Grow these coneflowers and black-eyed Susans in landscaped beds, including any flowerbeds created with retaining walls. You’ll add charm to a rustic retaining wall built with natural stone and graced with coneflowers and black-eyed Susans.
Vibrant Color with Red and Yellow Twig Dogwoods
Our horticulturists at Campbell & Ferrara recommend adding red and yellow twig dogwoods if you’re looking for vibrant winter colors. The yellow twig is a smaller shrub than the red twig variety. When planted en-masse, these shrubs make a great focal point facing any patios and indoor rooms that overlook your yard.
However, both varieties draw the eye upward and provide bold colors contrasting the winter landscape. You’ll be transfixed when you see red or yellow twig dogwood against a snowy backdrop.
Winter Resistant Texture and Color with Autumn Joy Stonecrop
Autumn Joy stonecrop, (Hylotelephium ‘Herbstfreude’), is an upright perennial hardy succulent, that beautifies your landscape starting in spring with yellow-green leaves and stems that develop and spread throughout the summer, culminating in mid-summer with lovely tiny pink flowers. The pink clusters of flowers will morph into a deep red in the fall.
If you don’t cut the sedum back in the fall, the stems will provide winter interest, and the birds will feed on the dried flower heads. Autumn Joy sedum looks enchanting when kissed with early morning ice or snow.
You don’t have to settle for a drab winter landscape on your northern Virginia property. Instead, invest in American holly, purple coneflowers, black-eyed Susans, red or yellow twig dogwoods, and Autumn Joy stonecrop sedum, providing colorful focal points and food for your favorite birds and small mammals.
Campbell & Ferrara’s Proven Experience in Landscape Design is Your Best Choice
If you want to add winter interest to your landscape, you need Campbell & Ferrara. We have over 79 years of proven experience creating thousands of spectacular landscapes, from patios to gardens for outdoor living.
Winter is an excellent time to call to discuss adding a new garden, patio, pergola, or other landscape structure. Rely on our expert designers and craftsmen to deliver the perfect custom landscape. We are known as the company that creates beautiful gardens, as well as a patio paver company, that takes pride in ensuring your experience is delivered with outstanding quality and service. Call us today at 703-354-6724 or fill out our contact form.
AmericanMeadows.com, Autumn Joy Sedum.
EpicGardening.com, How to Plant, Grow, and Care for Winterberry Holly.
Gardenista.com, Red Twig Dogwood.
Ibid, Landscape Ideas: Blazing Color with Red Twig Dogwood, 5 Ways.
MissouriBotanicalGarden.org, Hylotelephium ‘Herbstfreude’ AUTUMN JOY.
MortonArb.org, American Holly.
Union.CES.NCSU.edu, Native Plant Spotlight—Winterberry Holly.