Even winter can be a time of new life. With the arrival of our newest family member, we wanted to make the winter as colorful for everyone else as it will be for us. Here are some tips for your Westchester County home that will help you to incorporate color into your backyard landscaping with lush evergreen trees and shrubs.
With plenty of cultivars to choose from, boxwood covers a vast range of sizes, colors and uses. Boxwood makes an excellent shrub for hedges, but can also be used as a standalone plant and for general landscaping purposes. Common variants of boxwood have small, blue-green leaves, although bright green variations also exist. Dwarf cultivars grow to between 2 and 4 feet tall and around the same in breadth while larger variations reach about 6 feet tall and around 4 feet in breadth and can be shaped easily through pruning.
Attractive both because of their year round color and their low maintenance, Junipers are a coniferous evergreen and relative of the Cypress. Juniper trees come in four main varieties, ground cover, dwarf, small and large, with ground cover junipers growing up to a single foot and large juniper giants growing up to 25 (and in some case 60) feet tall. Juniper trees and bushes are typically a dark green with blue-black berries.
False Cypress ‘Paul’s Gold’
For something truly eye catching, Paul’s Gold offers bright yellow foliage that is sure to brighten up even the bleakest winter scene. The False Cypress is a shrub with a wide spread (about 4 feet) and a height of 4 to 5 feet, giving it a rounded dome-like appearance. In full sun, the gold foliage is drastically enhanced, while shaded areas will yield a more subdued green-gold. The fine, almost feathery texture of the foliage can add a softening touch to the landscape, making it good for lining walkways and patios. Not only is Paul’s Gold a great winter shrub, it’s also resistant to the extremes of hot summers as well as deer and insects.
If you’re looking for an evergreen with size, the Eastern Hemlock, also known as the Canadian Hemlock is the way to go. Although slow growing, and extremely long living, the Eastern Hemlock can grow up to 100 feet, with the oldest living specimen believed to be more than 550 years old. This makes the Eastern Hemlock a tree with incredible strength and resilience. The hemlock has fine, short needles and yields cone-like seed pods. It’s foliage can differ in color throughout the year from a golden yellow to silver.
The rhododendron is a broad leafed evergreen shrub, good for bringing both color and texture to your yard. Not only do most rhododendron species maintain the color of their leaves, they also burst into great blooms of flowers in late winter. These flowers are generally a bright pink, but can come in white and shades of lilac. Rhododendron and azaleas are commonly discussed together as azaleas form a subgroup of rhododendron with some minor differences. Both can be used effectively to beat the winter landscape blues.