Podcast: Let's Argue About Plants

Episode 104: Plants for Winter Interest  

Video by Danielle Sherry and Carol Collins. Edited by Kara Demos.

If you live in the Northeast, Mountain West, or Midwest, your idea of winter interest is certainly different from, say, a gardener’s living in the South. Those of us who live in cooler locales are often satisfied with calling any plant that sticks its head above a snowbank “a winter stunner.” But in today’s episode we’re holding the bar a bit higher and talking about plants that really do save their best for the months of December, January, and February. We discuss shrubs that flower in winter, perennials that are evergreen, and even a few trees that every garden (regardless of geographic location) would benefit from. Our special guest is from Montana, so if she can find plants for winter interest, you know that anyone can.

Special guest: Kielian DeWitt lives and gardens on a horse ranch in the Bitterroot Valley in Montana.

 Carol’s Plants

‘Carsten’s Wintergold’ mugo pine (Pinus mugo ‘Carsten’s Wintergold)
‘Carsten’s Wintergold’ mugo pine, summer and winter color

‘Carsten’s Wintergold’ mugo pine (Pinus mugo ‘Carsten’s Wintergold’)


‘Red Sprite’ winterberry (Ilex verticillata 'Nana')
‘Red Sprite’ winterberry
‘Red Sprite’ winterberry
Blurry photo of bluebird feasting on Danielle’s winterberry

‘Red Sprite’ winterberry (Ilex verticillata ‘Nana’)


‘Wintergreen’ Japanese umbrella pine (Sciadopitys verticillata 'Wintergreen')
‘Wintergreen’ Japanese umbrella pine

‘Wintergreen’ Japanese umbrella pine (Sciadopitys verticillata ‘Wintergreen’)


'Primavera' witch hazel (Hamamelis x intermedia 'Primavera')
‘Primavera’ witch hazel (Hamamelis × intermedia ‘Primavera’)

‘Primavera’ witch hazel (Hamamelis × intermedia ‘Primavera’)


Danielle’s Plants

'Glauca Prostrata' noble fir (Abies procera 'Glauca Prostrata', Zones 5-9)
‘Glauca Prostrata’ noble fir (Abies procera ‘Glauca Prostrata’, Zones 5–9)

‘Glauca Prostrata’ noble fir (Abies procera ‘Glauca Prostrata’, Zones 5–9)


Fluffy® Western arborvitae
Fluffy® Western arborvitae

Fluffy® Western arborvitae (Thuja plicata ‘SMNTPGF’, Zones 5–8)


'Ice Dance' sedge
‘Ice Dance’ sedge

‘Ice Dance’ sedge (Carex ‘Ice Dance’, Zones 5–9)

Replacement: Feather Falls™ sedge (Carex ‘ETCRX01’, Zones 5–9)


Arctic Fire® Red red osier dogwood (Cornus stolonifera ‘Farrow', Zones 2-7)
Perfect Pairing: ‘Ice Dance’ sedge underplanted with Arctic Fire® Red red osier dogwood

Arctic Fire® Red red osier dogwood (Cornus stolonifera ‘Farrow’, Zones 2–7)


Guest’s Plants

'Compact Gem' Bosnian pine (photo: Kielian DeWitt)
‘Compact Gem’ Bosnian pine. Photo: Kielian DeWitt

‘Compact Gem’ Bosnian pine (Pinus heldreichii ‘Compact Gem’, Zones 5–8)


'True Love' hellebore (photo: Walter’s Gardens, Inc.)
‘True Love’ hellebore. Photo: Walter’s Gardens Inc.

Ivory Halo dogwood (Cornus alba ‘Bailhalo’, Zones 3–7)


'True Love' hellebore (photo: Walter’s Gardens, Inc.)

‘True Love’ hellebore (Helleborus ‘True Love’, Zones 4–9)


Mother of thyme (photo: Kielian DeWitt)
Mother of thyme. Photo: Kielian DeWitt

Mother of thyme (Thymus serpyllum, Zones 4–8)


Bobo® panicle hydrangea (photo: Kielian DeWitt)
Bobo® panicle hydrangea. Photo: Kielian DeWitt

Bobo® panicle hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata ‘ILVOBO’, Zones 3–9)


Bowling ball spider (photo: Kielian DeWitt)
Bowling ball spider. Photo: Kielian DeWitt
Glass art in the garden (photo: Jay Sifford)
Glass art in the garden. Photo: Jay Sifford
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