Winter Favorites: 9 Stunning Shrubs and Trees

The dreary depths of winter can make the landscape feel void and desolate. But it is also one of the longest seasons of the year. So why put the garden completely to bed when you could have brilliant foliage and textures? Here we share 9 of our favorite winter trees and shrubs that shine brightest in the darkest depths of winter.

1. Globe Blue Spruce, Picea pungens ‘Globosa’

The blue-green hue of these needles stands out against the snow while adding volume to landscape beds. Particularly beautiful when mixed with grasses and black-eyed Susan.


2. Quaking Aspen, Populus tremuloides


Aspen bark adds heavy contrast against the snow and helps bring out color around it (such as this squirrels tail). Also, a favorite perch for Cardinals and Goldfinches.

3. Green Velvet Boxwood, Buxus ‘Green Velvet’

Reliable and hardy with a splash of color, this medium-sized evergreen gives volume to the winter landscape and mixes well against a backdrop of aspen and dogwood.

4. Rhododendron, Rhododendron sp.

While known for their big, colorful blooms, they also are evergreen through the winter adding a spark of color and plenty of volume.


5. Astilbe, Astilbe chinensis


Not only provide rare summer blooms in the shade garden, but keep their seeds through most of the winter adding contrast. Here they are accented with a line of red twig dogwood.

6. Little Lime Hydrangea, Hydrangea paniculata

Wholesome blooms of the late summer extend deep into the winter as the bush yeilds a rich brown color while adding depth to the landscape bed.

7. Redtwig Dogwood, Cornus sericea

Retwig dogwood can yield stunning red bark against a snowy backdrop while adding winter layers to the landscape.

8. Dawyck Purple Beech, Fagus sylvatica ‘Dawyck’


Large buds and rich brown leaves persist throughout the winter. Combined with unusual bark, this adds depth to your outdoor space.


9. Little Devil Ninebark, Physocarpus opulifolius ‘Little Devil’


Tight, purple blooms yield to a dense pattern of branches that add heavy contrast at the edge of the garden.


Interested in incorporating plants like these into your landscape? Now is the perfect time to plan for new plantings and spring is the best time to install so they can reach maturity by next winter. Our team of designers and horticulturalists can help you choose the right location for year round health and interest. Breaking Ground operates throughout the Omaha metro area as well as Gretna, Fremont, Valley and Bennington. Contact us for a free design/maintenance consultation. 

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