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Newport offers inspirational examples of planting for winter

If you ever have the opportunity to visit the mansions in Newport, Rhode Island during the holiday season, take advantage. The Newport Preservation Society decorates the mansions for the holidays and offers audio tours detailing the d├ęcor with its associated ownership history. The Society does a magnificent job in creating holiday decorations that reflect the period of the mansion society.

Plantings create the Japanese sense of place

On the property of one of the mansions, there is an ocean side refurbished pagoda. The landscape planting around the perimeter of the Japanese pagoda is noteworthy. In our last blog we talked about using plantings that would provide winter interest. The plantings around this pagoda are an excellent example of not only Japanese sense of place but also how plant selection can enhance the winter landscape.

Contrast creates visual interest

Contrast plants for winter interest

The photograph shows a combination of evergreens and deciduous plantings of various forms, textures and tones. The compact variety of chamaecyparis provides a fern like twisted green foliage texture with a mature size that will not distract from the pagoda architecture. In contrast to the chamaecyparis foliage, the landscape includes the firm, blunt needle foliage of the smaller variety of mugo pine.  For additional contrast, there is holly with its dark green serrated edged foliage and the small delicate foliage of the azalea.  The dwarf Japanese maple creates winter visual interest and its form is in sharp contrast to the evergreen plantings. This combination of plant material illustrates how the use of tone and texture and form creates a visually interesting landscape, even in the winter months.