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When many trees have lost their leaves, these trees and shrubs add color and interest to a winter landscape:

Marina Strawberry Tree (Arbutus ‘Marina’)

The ‘Marina’ has gorgeous peeling bark and small pink flowers borne in pendant clusters. The fruit is large, red and quite ornamental. The plant should be grown in sun to part shade, with little or no summer watering when established. It can grow to 25 to 40’ tall.

Manzanita (Arctostaphylos)

Manzanitas are broad-leafed evergreens with beautiful bark and small white or pink urn-shaped flowers that bloom in late winter and early spring, followed by red or brown fruits that birds love. They come in almost every size imaginable – from groundcovers (A. ‘Emerald Carpet) to shrubs (A. ‘John Dourley’ or A. ‘Howard McMinn’) to trees (A. ‘Dr. Hurd’ or ‘St. Helena’). They are low water and like full sun or light shade. 

James Roof Coast Silk Tassel (Garrya elliptica ‘James Roof’)

White flower tassels appear in winter, covering this shrub or small tree that grows up to 10’ tall and wide.

It is spectacular when in bloom.

It has wavy-edged, evergreen, leathery, gray green leaves with reddish brown stems.

The shrub has many stems arching from the base. It does best in well-draining soil although it will tolerate clay soil.

It is wind tolerant and a great plant for a screen, hedge or espalier.

Red and Pink Flowering and Winter Currants

(Ribes sanguineum ‘King Edward VII’ ‘Claremont’ and ‘White Icicle’)

These upright, multi-branched deciduous shrubs bloom with rose-red, pink or white flower clusters from January to April, offering winter color for the garden and food for hummingbirds, followed by berries in the summer for birds. This shrub is low water but needs some shade in warm inland areas. It makes a wonderful backdrop in a woodland garden, foundation shrub, or an informal hedge.

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