At Home in Berks December 2017 - 14

FEATURES

Creating Curb Appeal

with Winter Interest Plants

By Alaina Salks, Riverview Gardens & Gifts

W

hen designing a home garden, it is
important to use plants that will
provide interest in every season. Most
people will pay close attention to planting trees
and shrubs that will give them color and texture
throughout the spring, summer and autumn
seasons. Winter is often overlooked as the season that plants "go to bed." However, there are
many plants that can provide interesting color
and texture during our coldest season. We call
them "winter interest" plants.

A Family of Berries
This group of plants produces berries in the fall and will
retain them through the winter. The berries are often a source
of nourishment for birds that over-winter in Pennsylvania. The
most notable of this group is the Female Holly, distinguished
by its glossy green, prickly leaves and bright red berries. Other
lesser-known fall berry producers are pyracantha, cotoneaster
and winterberry.

14

AT HOME IN BERKs december 2017

Winterberry is a type of native deciduous holly. It is perhaps the most notable winter interest plant because the female
bush forms dense clusters of bright red berries which stay on
the stem long after the shrub loses its leaves. Remember those
scary red berry plants from M. Night Shyamalan's movie The
Village? They were winterberry.
Pyracantha is a thorny, evergreen shrub that produces a
profusion of orange, yellow or red berries in the autumn and
winter. It is most often seen growing up a wall or on a trellis,
but it can also be trained to grow in straight lines, grid patterns
or even geometric shapes. Cotoneaster is a close relative of
Pyracantha. Unlike its relative, the cotoneaster is thornless. It
forms orange or red berries and its leaves turn shades of purple,
red and bronze in the autumn before dropping.

Beautiful Bark
This group of trees has stunning bark that is even more
striking when the leaves have dropped and the trees are bare.
The Coral Bark Japanese Maple is one of the most popular
varieties. There are multiple cultivars that have been developed,
and every one of them has remarkable coral orange, yellow and
pink bark that stands out against the bleak white winter landscape. The colors on the trunk flow seamlessly from one to the
other, like a vibrant sunset. This is truly the coup de grĂ¢ce of
winter interest trees.



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