by High Country Gardens

Bronze iguana covered in snow.

Winter is often the forgotten season when it comes to landscaping. I love a beautiful perennial border in the summer; the colors, the flowers, the interesting foliage and textures. But in winter, when all the perennials have gone dormant and  lost their summer glow, there is not much to look at and enjoy. Woody trees and shrubs along with cacti and succulent plants can provide what is known as the “bones of the garden.” We’re not talking literal bones, but are referring to plants with a year round presence in the garden.  These plants, along with hardscape elements, provide the structure around which a landscape can be planted to have year round interest, texture, form and substance.

Landscape covered by snow.
Landscape covered by snow.

It is after a winter snow that the “bones” take center stage, providing a new view, and new perspective, when we see leaves and branches covered in white, peeking out from under a chilly blanket left behind by a quick moving late winter storm. Here are some photos from my front yard showing how xeric cacti and succulents like Agave, Yucca and Opuntia mixed in with the structural grace of a weeping ‘Mary Potter’ flowering crabapple, catch the snow with sublime beauty.

Snow on a bush.
Yucca neomexicana.
  1. Delosperma cooperi, Cooper's Hardy Ice Plant

    Delosperma cooperi (Coopers Hardy Ice Plant) is covered with large magenta-pink flowers for much of the summer. A perfect groundcover where easy-care, high color is on the wish-list....

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    Cooper's Hardy Ice Plant Cooper's Hardy Ice Plant Delosperma cooperi
    As low as $6.99 Sale $6.29
    Per Plant - 2.5" Pot
    Delosperma cooperi (Coopers Hardy Ice Plant) is covered with large magenta-pink flowers for much of the summer. A perfect groundcover where easy-care, high color is on the wish-list. It grows vigorously, creating a succulent carpet of color.
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  2. Granita ® Raspberry Ice Plant, Delosperma Granita Raspberry flowers close up

    Granita Raspberry Ice Plant (Delosperma Granita Raspberry) is a hybrid Ice Plant that blooms in late spring with stunning raspberry-red flowers. The plant is very cold hardy with eve...

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    Granita® Raspberry Ice Plant Granita® Raspberry Ice Plant Delosperma Granita® Raspberry
    As low as $8.99 Sale $8.09
    Per Plant - 2.5" Pot
    Granita Raspberry Ice Plant (Delosperma Granita Raspberry) is a hybrid Ice Plant that blooms in late spring with stunning raspberry-red flowers. The plant is very cold hardy with evergreen stems and foliage.
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  3. Sedum Autumn Fire Fall Color, Red and Pink Sedum Autumn Fire, Autumn Fire Stonecrop

    Autumn Fire is an improved form of Sedum 'Autumn Joy' that is larger growing, has larger flower heads and is longer blooming. The flat heads of rose-pink flowers appear in late summe...

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    Autumn Fire Sedum Autumn Fire Stonecrop Sedum Autumn Fire
    Sale Price I Save 5%
    $10.99 Sale $10.44
    Per Plant - 5" Deep Pot
    Autumn Fire is an improved form of Sedum 'Autumn Joy' that is larger growing, has larger flower heads and is longer blooming. The flat heads of rose-pink flowers appear in late summer. Leave the faded flowers on the plant for added winter interest.
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  4. Pink and Purple Delosperma ashtonii Blut, Delosperma ashtonii Blut, Blut Ice Plant

    'Blut' is one of the very best cold hardy Ice Plants. With its vigorous growth habit, durable evergreen foliage and summer-long display of deep magenta-red flowers, it is an invaluab...

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    Blut Ice Plant Blut Ice Plant Delosperma ashtonii Blut
    As low as $7.99
    Per Plant - 2.5" Pot
    'Blut' is one of the very best cold hardy Ice Plants. With its vigorous growth habit, durable evergreen foliage and summer-long display of deep magenta-red flowers, it is an invaluable groundcover. Drought resistant/drought tolerant plant (xeric).
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