OMAHA, Neb., Oct. 25, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The holiday season is filled with reds and greens, but the typical cold-weather landscape looks anything but festive, according to Nature Hills Nursery.
"Many yards look bleak and boring in the late fall and winter," said Jeff Dinslage, president of Nature Hills Nursery, a large online seller of trees and shrubs at www.NatureHills.com. "That's because too many homeowners design landscapes for the summer months, but they forget about what their plants might look like in the cold season."
According to Dinslage, the key to an interesting cold-season landscape is choosing a mix of evergreens plus deciduous shrubs and trees that add orange and red to the landscape as temperatures begin cooling down. The result can be a yard with enough green and red to look both interesting and merry as the holiday season approaches.
Start with evergreens
An interesting fall and winter landscape incorporates plants that stay green all year long. Choose some large evergreens that will serve as colorful anchors in the landscape during the bleakest months. A good choice is Green Giant Arborvitae. As its name suggests, this fast-growing evergreen tree grows big—up to 40 to 50 feet at maturity, at the rate of 3-4 feet a year.
A Green Giant Arborvitae has the basic shape of a Christmas tree, and it gets about 15 to 18 feet wide at the base and tapers to a point at the very top. When planted about 15 feet apart, these large evergreens will grow together to form a natural green privacy screen that can block unsightly views beyond your property.
Arborvitae is Latin for "tree of life," which is an apt description of the hardy nature of this evergreen tree. It can survive ice storms and heavy snow. Birds love it, too. But most insects don't—and neither do deer. It grows well in most soils, and even during dry periods it's incredibly fast-growing. To learn more about this four-season landscape star, visit www.naturehills.com/arborvitae-green-giant.
To give your cold-season landscape additional accents of green, add a few Green Mountain Boxwood shrubs. Although boxwoods are a familiar shrub, what makes Green Mountain unique is its pyramidal shape. These shrubs stay small, just 3-5 feet tall and 2-3 feet wide, so they are a great choice as focal points in perennial beds or grouped together as a small hedge.
The dark green leaves of a Green Mountain Boxwood hold their green color much better than most boxwood shrubs throughout the winter months. This shrub also maintains its shape with very little pruning, so you won't have to spend your time on maintenance.
Bring in the reds
As temperatures cool down in the fall, several plants whose foliage turns red can become landscape stars. All it takes is one Autumn Blaze Red Maple to make a statement in your yard. This handsome tree can get big—40-60 feet tall and wide. It's a great shade tree during the summer, but it becomes a beacon of red when its leaves start changing colors in the fall.
"The Autumn Blaze Red Maple is a cross between a red maple and a silver maple that's designed to provide more consistent late-season color," said Jeff Dinslage of Nature Hills Nursery. "Autumn Blaze works well as a single specimen, and a row of these planted along a street or a driveway is enough to stop traffic."
In the shrub category, you can't go wrong with a Red Chokeberry. It grows to 6-8 feet tall and 3-5 feet wide, so it fits well in smaller suburban yards. Red Chokeberry produces red leaves in fall and bright red berries in fall and throughout the winter. The berries look great when framed against a background of snow, and they stay on the plants until birds pick them off.
Another favorite for adding a touch of red to the winter landscape is red-twigged dogwood. When the first frost comes and its leaves fall, what remains throughout the winter are bright red stems that look wonderful when offset by a blanket of snow.
Deer won't nibble an Arctic Fire Dogwood, so you'll have plenty of the brilliant 3-4 foot stems to enjoy outdoors or bring indoors for a warm accent during those long days of winter. It's also an attractive plant during the warmer months, with tiny clusters of delicate white flowers in spring and berries in late summer to delight your feathered friends.
"All of these trees and shrubs do well when planted in the cooler temperatures of autumn," said Dinslage. "Fall planting gives plants a chance to establish a strong root system before freezing temperatures set in, and that extra root growth gives them a jump-start when spring comes."
Randy Schultz, 505-822-8222 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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SOURCE Nature Hills Nursery