The climate in the Twin Cities makes it a difficult place to have a garden, but it’s certainly not impossible. While we may not be able to have the same selection of flowers that warmer climates allow, there are plants that we can grow that look beautiful topped with snow and even better in the summer.
Here are five plants that can brave the winters and make your garden glow:
1. Winterberry (llex verticillata)
Winterberry is easy to grow and is a quite a tough plant. It loses its leaves in late fall and produces red berries that last late into winter. The brightness of these lipstick red berries is highlighted by the lack of other foliage in the winter months. The winterberry has few diseases or pests. You will need one male plant around one or more female in order for fruit to be produced.
2. Witch Hazel (Winter Bloom)
This plant has a fragrant smell during the summer and during the winter it produces red and yellow flowers that bring some color to the winter months. It stands around 15 ft tall and almost just as wide so be sure you have the room for it.
3. Red Twig Dogwood
This plant has, as the name implies, red branches. These do not only look great in contrast to the snow but they also look great in combination with evergreens. The stems are red all year round but during the spring or summer months it is covered with leaves. Be sure to place it where it gets the most sunlight as the brightness of its color depends on the amount of sun it receives.
4. Snowdrop (Galanthus elwesii)
Snowdrops bloom in late winter as a beautiful signal that spring is just around the corner. The white flowers look natural against the white snow. These plants grow well in rock gardens and under larger shrubs.
5. Christmas Rose (Helleborus)
The Chrismas Rose, although not technically a rose, blooms in late December and lasts through early spring. Its stems rise above light snowfall but you might have to uncover it from some of our heavier Minnesota snows to reveal the beautiful white flowers.