This week, Master Gardener Nancy Louwman suggests options for shrubs and grasses to add colour and texture to your winter garden. Many also are a food/shelter source for wildlife. All images by Nancy Louwman unless otherwise noted.

Dogwoods

Left, Cornus sericea “Arctic Fire’ (5 ft tall, compact); Centre, Cornus sanguinea ‘Midwinter Fire’ (6 ft; suckers; late to lose its leaves; orange/pink branches); Right, Cornus sericea ‘Bud’s Yellow’ (7 ft)

Shrub Roses

Left, Rosa rugosa ‘Therese Bugnet’ (beautiful red canes); Centre, Rosa centifolia ‘William Lobb’ (oval red hips); Right, Rosa ‘Oscar Peterson’ (masses of orange hips)

Grasses

Molinia caerulea ‘Skyracer’ (7-8 ft in bloom; striking golden fall colour; popular with finches);

Left, Miscanthus sinensis ‘Morning Light’, and right, Panicum virgatum ‘Heavy Metal’.

Finally, in areas with more moisture try Ilex verticillata (Winterberry), a local native, or one of its cultivars. The berries are outstanding.

Image credit: Gardenia.net

Ilex verticillata ‘Winter Gold’ (left) and ‘Winter Red’ (right)