Winter can impose a real lull in the garden's show. But here are some perennials that dress things up a bit with their interesting evergreen foliage:
Cyclamen hederifolium (Zones 4–8): leaves emerge in fall and disappear in spring. In between, they form a low mat of two-tone green leaves.
Little brown jug (Asarum arifolium; Zones 5–9): silver-marked dark green leaves can be 6 inches across. Prefers damp shade.
Broadleaf toothwort (Cardamine diphylla; Zones 4–8): 3-lobed leaves are dark green with white veins on top and purplish underneath. Appears in fall and goes dormant in spring.
Evergreen ferns: try Christmas fern (Polystichum acrostichoides; Zones 4–9); marginal shield fern (Dryopteris marginalis; Zones 3–8); autumn fern (D. erythrosora; Zones 5–8); holly fern (Cyrtomium falcatum; Zones 6–10); variegated shield fern (Arachniodes simplicior; Zones 6–9).
Rue anenome (Anemonella thalictroides; Zones 4–8): forms a low cover of bright green, delicate-looking leaves in winter.
Blue spruce sedum (Sedum rupestre; Zones 5–9): groundcover for sun or shade, with succulent needle-like leaves.
Love perennials? You must read The Well-Tended Perennial Garden (Expanded Edition) by Tracy DiSabato-Aust
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