Crab apples are a first great choice.They come in many growth sizes, and if you don’t love the look of larger crap apples in your landscaping, there are versions with berry-sized cab apples that not only give a nice pop of red all winter but also feed the wild life. Royal Raindrops and Prairie Fire are two varieties that also have beautiful red and purple foliage and blaze with color in the fall.
Decorative grasses are another plant that has interest all year round. In the spring and summer, they grow tall or interesting plumes, change color in the fall, and then in the winter, dry out to a pretty wheat color that also adds interest. Zebra grass is hardy in colder zones. And some varieties can also be harvested for interior decorating and vase filler.
A Contorted Filbert has branches that are quirky with interesting twists and turns against the snow. If you like making winter arrangements, check out this pot on what to plant for a winter cutting garden.
Seed heads such as these from the cone flower left standing instead of cut down, also are interesting and leave seeds for the native animals and birds.
And plant old fashioned roses and leave your rose hips on the branches for more winter interest. Many times by the end of winter the birds have gotten to them first, but they are pretty while they are there.
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