Winter Garden Features

wintersorbuscommixa (295x300)Sorbus commixta (syn. S. discolor, S. reflexipetala) – A Japanese Mountain Ash with clusters of white flowers (from late spring to early summer) followed by a pendulous display of reddish-orange berries that persist into winter. The compound green foliage shifts to gold, red or purple autumn tones. It is a good choice for smaller urban gardens. Grows 20-30′ high and wide. Hardy to zone 6.

rubus (300x289)Rubus thibetanus – Ghost Bramble is well named as the purple stems are covered by a heavy silvery-white bloom in winter – so much so that they actually gleam on those dull overcast days. It is an RHS Award of Garden Merit winner and a native of China, where it is called Tibetan Dewberry. Small purplish-pink flowers are followed by inedible black fruits. 5-8′ high and wide. Zone 6.

stewmonadelpha (288x300)Stewartia monadelpha – A taller species of Stewartia (or Stuartia) which is native to Korea and Japan. It features utterly beautiful peeling winter bark of reddish-brown and orange, with grey accents. Single cup-shaped white flowers (with creamy-yellow stamens) are produced in midsummer. The green foliage shifts to fiery red and deep orange in the fall. Grows 20-30′ high. Zone 6.

9-12-2011 16-17-11_001 (292x300)Sarcococca ruscifolia – This species of Christmas Box is a compact evergreen shrub that thrives in deep shade and tolerates part sun. It bears highly fragrant tiny white flowers from late winter into early spring, although these are often hidden by the dense, glossy green foliage. Young plants make excellent container specimens (as shown). Grows 3-5′ high and wide. Hardy to zone 7.

cotonhorizon (300x286)Cotoneaster horizontalis – Fishbone Cotoneaster or Rockspray is well named as the dense branch sprays much resemble a skeletal frame or herringbone pattern. It is a deciduous shrub that is best trained against a wall or fence with glossy green leaves that turn red in fall. The white (tinted pink) flowers are followed by bright red berries that persist into winter. 3′ high by 5′ wide. Zone 5.

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