Winter can be a dreary time in the garden, but a few evergreen trees and shrubs in your yard will give you foliage to look at all year. Most evergreens stay green year-round, but even those that change color in the winter provide a welcome contrast to all those bare branches.
Here are 12 different trees and shrubs to consider that will add lots of green color to your garden - year 'round!
The Steeplechase Arborvitae Thuja is a fast-growing evergreen tree that reaches up to 30 feet tall with up to a 10-food spread in a pyramidal shape. It works well in a windbreak or sound barrier hedge.
Nellie R Stevens Holly is a hybrid cross between an English and Chinese holly. It features the dark green leaves and bright red berries that are holly trademarks, but unlike some other holly plants, the female Nellie R Stevens tree doesn't need a male tree to produce fruit. The tree is low-maintenance and grows 20-30 feet high and 10-15 feet wide.
The Holmstrup Eastern Arborvitae is a semi-dwarf evergreen that only grows 6-10 foot tall with a 3-4 foot spread. It is prized for its dark green foliage, which keeps its color through the winter months. This tree is a North American native tree, easy to grow (but slow growing), and works great for windbreaks and privacy screens.
Dark Green Arborvitae is a pyramidal, slow-growing evergreen that works well as a privacy hedge. This arborvitae grows 20-30 feet tall and 8-10 feet wide. It features dark green foliage that makes an excellent backdrop for flowers throughout the warmer months.
Arizona Cypress Carolina Sapphire is a very fast-growing evergreen tree that reaches a height of up to 40 feet at maturity. This tree features fragrant foliage in a silvery, bluish-green color. The conical growth shape of the tree makes it excellent for Christmas trees.
Emerald Green Arborvitae is one of our favorite low-growing arborvitae varieties. This tree reaches a mature height of 10-15 feet with a 3-4 foot spread, and grows in a nicely pyramidal shape with almost no pruning needed.
Murray Cypress is another fast-growing tree that reaches a height of 30-40 feet and a spread of 6-10 feet. The Murray Cypress is a hardier tree than the Leyland Cypress and is often used in its place. Also works great as a Christmas tree!
The Green Giant Arborvitae reaches 30-50 feet tall at maturity and has a long list of positive characteristics, including being deer-resistant, adaptable to most soil types, and requiring very little pruning. Another great choice for a privacy hedge.
Celtic Pride Siberian Cypress is a low-growing evergreen shrub with a wide spread, reaching up to 4-5 feet. In the winter, the typically bright green foliage of this Siberian Cypress changes to an attractive shade of russet. Due to its wide spread, this plant is a great choice for covering large areas.
Green Mountain Boxwood is an evergreen shrub that grows up to 5 feet tall with up to a 3-foot spread. This boxwood shrub is a perfect choice for creating a border hedge or backdrop for a perennial flower garden, but it also works well as a container plant.
11. Thuja Tiny Tot
Thuja Tiny Tot is a North American native evergreen shrub that only reaches 2 feet high and grows in a rounded globe shape. This bright green ball-like plant is easy to grow and works great as an edger for pathways or garden borders.
12. Irish Juniper
The Irish Juniper is a narrow, columnar evergreen shrub that reaches 5-15 feet high at maturity but only 2-4 feet wide. Its foliage is soft to the touch, blue-green at the bottom of the plant and bluish-white towards the top. The attractive foliage of this shrub, along with its shape, make it an excellent focus plant.