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barks and berries

Even though our winters in Southern California are not exactly bleak and barren, they can seem a little boring when compared to our colorful spring and summer seasons. Living in a mild climate might cause you to wish for a bit more of a true “winter feel” in the great outdoors. Luckily, we have plenty of ways to liven up a blah garden while lending a more traditional, wintry appearance to the landscape. A great place to start…barks and berries!

Brighten up with berries. Orange, bright red, or crimson berries certainly add color and intrigue to any garden. Remember to plant both male and female plants together, so that they will cross-pollinate and promote lush berry production. Some popular choices, producing berries in the cooler months, include:

● Winterberry (or Christmas berry)
● Christmas Holly
● Cotoneaster
● Pyracantha
● Crabapple (technically, this is a small tree)

As always when planting, remember to consider each plant’s space needs to prevent overcrowding, and carefully follow instructions regarding pruning and other care.

Add texture and color with barks. When planning your garden, you might never have considered the difference appearances of plant barks! Once you begin to notice bark, you develop a whole new appreciation for this aspect of gardening. Aside from interesting textures, barks can also add color to an otherwise dull winter garden.

Consider these plantings for their unusual barks:

● Paper Birch – the graceful, pale paper birch lends an elegant appearance when contrasted alongside dark backdrops like a hedge or fence
● Crape Myrtle – these shrubs (to tall trees depending on variety) have marbled trunks that glow in the bare winter time
● Japanese Maple – this small ornamental tree features coral-colored bark that deepens to crimson in winter
● Chinese Fringe Tree – this small ornamental tree features exfoliating (peeling) golden bark that stands out all winter

Of course, you don’t have to step outside in order to enjoy winter berries and barks! Trimmings can be brought indoors, to be used in creative seasonal arrangements in containers or on walls.

If you have any questions about livening up your winter garden, please stop by and visit us. We can help you choose selections that fit your space and offer brilliant color or unique texture to be enjoyed throughout the cooler months.