Anyone who has lived in Northern Michigan for more than a year knows that our winters can be tough. They are extremely cold, windy, and gray. While flowers cannot make it through our winters, there are other options to consider for winter color and interest in our area.
Red Twig Dogwood
This Northern Michigan native is famous for its bright red branches. When all foliage falls off in the winter months, these branches create a beautiful and stark contrast to the white snow. Red Twig Dogwoods do have a bit more of a wild look, so including them in the right locations is key.
Your landscape may already contain some ornamental grasses for their interest and height. They can transform into stunning winter interests if they are left standing in the winter months. Though they do turn brown, their sometimes-feathery plumes peeking out of the snow create a beautiful look.
Paperbark Birch Trees
Paperbark Birch trees are one of our absolute favorite trees year-round. In the spring and summer months, their beautiful leaves brighten up any space. In the fall, their leaves change and add to the gorgeous fall color view out your window. In the winter, we love that their ‘peeling’ bark creates texture in the landscape.
We already mentioned the many reasons why Viburnum shrubs are an excellent choice. This variety is the one to select if you are looking for winter interest. Although like all deciduous plants, it loses its leaves for the winter, the beautiful red berries remain. They provide a great food source to surrounding wildlife and a splash of color for homeowners.
Michigan Holly, sometimes called Winterberry, is another plant that holds its berries throughout the winter season. The bright red berries are plentiful and create beautiful color and texture in your winter landscape. These plants are quite large and need both a male and female plant for berries to be produced. Because of their size, they may not be right for all landscapes.
Every property in Northern Michigan needs evergreens! When we hear evergreen, we typically think of a Christmas tree. The evergreen species has SO much more to offer though. From shrubs to stunning weeping varieties, evergreens are far from boring or ordinary. Some varieties hold foliage of different sizes and textures creating so much interest throughout the winter.
Chinese Witch Hazel
Our final plant for winter we must mention is Chinese Witch Hazel. This bizarre plant drops its leaves as most do in the fall but oddly blooms right in the middle of winter. Small yellow blooms are a rare and beautiful sight throughout the lower peninsula. Witch hazel can also be used for several medicinal uses as well, such as in creams, soaps, and lotions.