Winter Garden Design: Trees to Add Dramatic Flair

Cheri Watkins

Trees as an Element of Garden Design

To avoid "sameness throughout the year" the Reader's Digest reference manual A Garden for All Seasons advises a balance of evergreen and deciduous trees for home and garden. While evergreen trees fill out strategic space in landscapes, the bark and branches of deciduous trees make an aesthetic statement about winter garden design.

A corkscrew willow tree's majesty emerges from the stark, twisted, shadows its bare branches make across winter skies. Corkscrew willow trees usually grow from 20 to 40 feet tall and need just as much width. A smaller shrub with similar branches, corkscrew hazel grows about 8 to 10 feet tall and needs a growth spread of about 8 feet. Corkscrew willow and corkscrew hazel fare well from the Great Lakes to the Southern United States.

Birch Trees for Home and Garden

For winter garden design, birch trees appeal for peel-away barks that reveal detailed geometric patterns and brilliant hues of red, green, yellow, white, and brown. Popular in North America as an ornamental tree, River Birch is a heat-tolerant species that thrives in wet climates from southern New Hampshire to the Texas Gulf Coast. Its bark unveils rich reds, and light and dark browns. The paper birch tree, also called canoe birch, has towering white trunks and grows best in colder climates of the Northern U.S. and Canada.

While other exotic birch tree species can now be found at nurseries, the North American native paper birch is the tree that inspired the Robert Frost poem, "Birches." To paraphrase the final line in this ode to the arbor, one's home garden could do worse than be planted with birches.

Steve Nix • Top 100 Trees • http://about.comhttp://forestry.about.com,
Reader's Digest • A Garden for All Seasons • Nov 29, 1991 • Pleasantville, NY,
Serious Gardeners • Plant Files: Corkscrew Hazel and Corkscrew willow • Dec 31, 1969 • http://davesgarden.comhttp://davesgarden.com/guides • Waltham, MA

About the Author

Cheri Renee began her professional writing career at Greenspun Media Group's Showbiz Weekly magazine (now LVM). Several years later, she discovered an interest in interior design and home improvement, while on assignment for GMG's H&a

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