We don’t yet have much in the way of evergreens in the yard, but so far I think we’ve gone a good job with adding plants to the garden that do look quite nice even when in winter dormancy (click on the images to see larger versions). The above is quite dormant, as it’s an annual (alyssum). After putting some ill-fated heuchera in that front planter that gets blasted all winter with wind, we learned our lesson & from then on only put annuals out there. That is, with the Solomon’s Seal and spotted deadnettle that somehow keep coming back!
The second photo is of some of the purple coneflower that went into the rain garden (summer 2005); this is our first winter with flower heads to get nicely dusted with snow.
Third photo shows the purple fountain grass that we got the first spring we lived here. That tough tuft has been moved a few times, but keeps getting bigger, nonetheless. We may divide and possibly plant more, as it does so well in that front bed. Thus far it’s still my favorite, in the wintertime.
The fourth photo shows another of our rain garden plants: swamp milkweed. It’s also its first winter with flowers/seed pods. All summer I was eager to witness the phase where the milky threads appear and then disperse from the seed pods. I missed it, but the remains are still quite elegant.
Two summers ago, Mom helped me plant the Russian sage shown in the last photo. After its first winter, we were suprised to see it return (it didn’t grow a lot that summer, and barely a stub survived the winter!), but we’ll know better, this spring. It’s one of three in the front bed – and it’s not the largest, possibly because it’s shaded by the huge elm across the street.