In November, I started participating in Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, the monthly event hosted by May Dream's Gardens where garden bloggers post pictures of what is blooming (or just looking pretty) in their garden. At the time, I didn't think much of it other than "Oh, this will be fun!" but it is already making me think differently about my garden. I've never focused much on having stuff in my garden in the winter -- basically November through February I just hunker down with books and catalogs and wait it out. Now, seeing all the other posts from other gardeners with bright berries, stems, and leaves in their gardens is making me think differently. 2010 is going to be the year I get serious about making my garden lovely in the months I usually ignore.
So I took a walk through the MSU horticulture gardens, and noted down what was looking good now, in the middle of December, after we've had temperatures into the teens and below.
So that's what I've been looking at. What other plants for winter color should I be considering? I know I want more conifers, and I'm also considering some heaths and heathers, some of which are supposed to have great winter foliage color (but will they be hardy?) But what do you recommend? What really shines in your winter garden? Before you answer that: if you live somewhere warm, and think of marigolds as winter color I don't want to hear about it! It will just make me jealous and malcontent and I'll have to creep off to a greenhouse to recover.