Yes, it is winter and some people think it is pretty bleak outside. We need to take a minute and look around, there is a lot to see in the plant world all around us at this time of the year. This beauty will go unnoticed if we don’t look now. When the leaves are off the deciduous trees and shrubs the rest of their winter beauty appears. There are plant forms and characteristics like- beautiful bark, bright berries, winding/twisted vines and evergreens that we don’t notice when all the foliage and flowers are on the plants around us. Take a look at some of the large trees at this time of the year. Trees like the stately sycamore or heritage birch, the bark on these trees is beautiful and we may not even notice it when the leaves are on the trees. Ninebark shrub is another good one for winter form and unique bark.

A unique ornamental plant is Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick with its twisted branches and in late winter it has blooms, actually catkins, with their long pendulous flowers that are so graceful in the breeze or even stellar looking when there is no air moving, they hang perfectly straight down.

Then there are the evergreens that have weeping branches or tight columnar shapes. See the photo of the Weeping Alaskan Arborvitae pictured here. This graceful, stately tree is a real beauty that tolerates many types of soil and grows very well here in the Miami Valley.

Espaliered plants add a whole new dimension to the winter landscape. They can be developed from a number of plants. See the photo here of the pear tree growing next on the brick wall. Nearly any plant can be trained to grow on a wall or trellis adding something different to any landscape planting. Some vines like the pictured Climbing Hydrangea actually clings to the wall and has a very interesting bark. Large green leaves in summer mask the beauty of the bark. Large white flowers are another feature of this plant. It prefers shade from the westerly sun so planting on a wall facing north or east is best.

So look around you when you are driving and walking, there is plenty to see even in the winter months.

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 32 years of growing

 Meadow View Growers

 www.meadowview.com

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