The best cosmetic for the winter garden is snow, and those fortunate enough to look out their windows in the dark months and see it covering stalks and branches with caps and cones and bits of icy filigree are fortunate.
Here, in Nashville, we are not so blessed. The herbaceous plants Russell Page called “brightly colored hay” have gone to ground, the annual fillers have gone to compost, and we have nothing to cover the bare dirt except a bushel or two of dried up leaves.
Those leaves help, but better still are some evergreen ground covers such as this Golden Ragwort(Senecio aureus), which likes deciduous shade or a little morning sun-
A fine, small shrub works as well, as long as it is well-behaved and not a land grabber or a sun-stealer-
Here is our native Wahoo, also known as the Strawberry Bush and as “Hearts A Busting”-
Some plants keep sunlight within them, and it shines out on dreary days.
Here are the Gold Sword Yucca and the Euphorbia “Ascot Sunrise”.
And some shrubs celebrate Christmas!
Even stone and flagstone paths can soften open ground.
These photos were taken yesterday on Overhill, in Green Hills. Even after two nights of 28 degrees two weeks back, Salvia “Indigo Spies” blooms on. And here in the back lawn we see elegance we might not notice in summer, in the lovely bark of the Crape Myrtle.