Your winter landscape design in beautiful Barrington, IL, doesn’t have to be dreary and colorless. Adding evergreens can bring life to your outdoor space, even during cold, cloudy months. These stalwart plants defy the season’s typical leaf-shedding trend and bring texture, structure, and character to your property.

Evergreen shrubs are some of the most beautiful landscape features because of their year-round color. Both needled and broadleaf varieties of evergreen shrubs have shades ranging from deep green to blue and even red. Find the best types of evergreen shrubs based on your preferences in the list below.

Arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis)

With masses of soft, fan-like leaves, the feathery texture of this hardy evergreen makes a striking contrast to broadleaf plants. Arborvitae is popular as a dependable, rugged screen or hedge plant.

Dwarf arborvitae is a small to medium-sized evergreen that looks good as a hedge or foundation planting in the winter. Small gardens, window boxes, and containers are great for dwarf styles. Meanwhile, the American arborvitae is the most popular evergreen for border lining and can survive hundreds of years. The most common types are ideal for year-round seclusion in evergreen landscaping because they develop at a considerably smaller height—10 to 15 feet—than in the wild. Arborvitae comes in different sizes and shapes, including these popular cultivars: ‘Techny’, ‘Nigra’ and ‘Smaragd’.

Blue Holly (Ilex x meserveae)

Blue Holly, also known as Meserve Holly, is a dense shrub that can reach 15 feet tall and 10 feet wide and does well in northern climates. This hybrid evergreen attracts birds in the winter with its dark crimson berries and beautiful, prickly, blue-green leaves. The plants prefer acid, moist, well-drained soil. Meserve Hollies should not be planted in open-exposed areas, as the winter winds may dry out the evergreen leaves.

Female plants bear glossy red fruit only when male plants are planted near the female plants for pollination. Typically one male should be planted for every three to five female plants. Place a few plants next to an entranceway for winter interest, or use them as a screening plant or hedge. There are numerous cultivars available such as ‘Blue Girl’, ‘Blue Boy’, ‘Blue Princess’, and ‘Blue Prince’. 

Boxwood (Buxus)

Boxwoods serve well as a low-maintenance hedge. Their tiny leaves and thick branching habit make it a visually striking addition to any environment. There are spherical-shaped round cultivars like ‘Green Velvet” that grow naturally, and some cultivars like ‘Green Mountain’ are upright in shape. This shrub grows slowly, is shearing-tolerant, and can be formed into various shapes.

Boxwoods go dormant when the days get shorter and the nights get longer and colder. Healthy plants in suitable conditions survive the winter without suffering any damage. 

Dwarf Blue Spruce (Picea pungens)

Dwarf Blue Spruce is an evergreen shrub that grows slowly and has distinctive blue-gray needles that make it stand out in any landscape. Group a few of these mounding conifers for year-round color in a mixed shrub border or incorporate it into a foundation planting.

Dwarf Blue Spruce shrubs are a great focal point in an imaginative landscape bed because of their modest stature and exceptional resistance to Winterburn caused by winter sunlight reflecting off snow banks. There are a variety of cultivars, including ‘Globosa’ and ‘Montgomery’.

Siberian Cypress (Microbiota decussata)

Siberian Cypress is a compact, evergreen ground cover that grows in the shade and survives in harsh winter climates. This plant is relatively new to horticulture in the last 20 years. It grows to a height of only 12” but can have a 10-foot spread if given the proper growing conditions. Its leaves are soft and feathery, turning bright green in spring and summer and a bronze color in fall and winter.

Landscape Design in Barrington, IL

Entrusting your backyard beautification project to The NL Group can turn your dreams of a stunning outdoor haven into a reality. By harnessing our expertise in landscape design, we’ll elevate your backyard’s appeal to new heights, creating a space that blends nature’s beauty harmoniously with your vision. 

The NL Group, experts in landscape design in Barrington, IL, will guide you in selecting the perfect plants to suit your space, soil, and aesthetic preferences.