Does your landscape have any bones?

Winter in North Georgia is not always a wonderland. What snow we do get is mostly ice and only causes trouble when it sticks around. And without picturesque silver white snow, most yards just look dead during the winter. Sound familiar? If so, your landscape needs some bones.

The bones of a landscape are it’s evergreens. Evergreens are what brings life to your landscape even on the coldest days. And before you click away because you hate those awful square shrubs or those prickly round hollies, let me just say that we hate them too. Evergreens are any shrub, tree, or perennial that stays green the entire year. Hollies and boxwoods are only the tip of the iceberg.

Pines and conifers are some of the most well known evergreens. But most magnolias keep their leaves year round as well. So do camellias, and they even have beautiful winter blossoms. Gardenias, yucca, rhododendrons, laurels, and even some azaleas are evergreen, the list goes on. Once you know to look, finding evergreens is hilariously easy. But not all evergreens, especially conifers, do well this far south.

For example, you’ll find pines of every shape and color at nurseries. They’ll be soft, or blue, or small and cute, and oh so tempting. But the majority of those pines are native to Washington state or up near the Canadian border where the weather is cold and damp. They might survive a summer or two in the south but will be prone to disease and will never look well. This Colorado Blue Spruce, above, for example can do well in North Georgia, but can also keel over it’s first summer if not properly planted and taken care of

The right evergreens chosen for your particular landscape can make all the difference. Many herbs are evergreen, lavender in particular turns a dark, blueish green in the winter that is surprisingly lovely. Succulents can also be evergreen, or they turn bright colors like the ones below.

Suzanne Brosche, owner and landscape designer at Art of Stone Gardening, has been working in North Georgia for years. She knows which evergreens do well in our area. She can also pick the evergreens that would be best suited for your landscape, whether its shady or sunny, damp or dry. Each plant has its own needs and Suzanne can determine which evergreens would thrive in your yard.

And the best part of having evergreens in your yard, is when it does snow, the sight is even more magical.

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