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Winters in San Antonio are short and relatively mild. It's a good time to assess your landscape. Too sparse? Look for spots to include evergreen plants. Wait to cut back your plants that froze until late February to provide cover and food for songbirds.
Plants that sport winter berries, such as this yaupon holly, are a festive addition to a landscape and a must in any wildscape.
Yaupon and Mockingbird
A mockingbird, the state bird of Texas, enjoying a hearty meal of yaupon berries.
Rosemary - An Evergreen Backbone Plant
Rosemary is a workhorse in San Antonio gardens. It’s evergreen, freeze-hardy, tough as nails and comes in upright or trailing versions. And, you can use it in cooking or crafts, too.
Prickly Pear with European Olive
Winter is when your evergreen backbone plants shine. The spineless prickly pear retains its good looks all winter. Paired here with a European olive tree, its wispy silver green leaves provide nice contrast.
Patios and Potted Evergreens
This backyard is all set for mild winter nights with a fire pit on a pervious patio.
New Gold Lantana Provides Winter Cover for Wildlife
New gold Lantanas are great WaterSaver plants that require cutting back in the winter. But leave them as long as possible as it provides winter cover for small birds and other wildlife. Cut it to the ground by March 1 and it’ll be full grown with no water by May.
Looking for more color in your winter landscape? Garden containers come in all shapes, sizes and colors. Choose your favorite and place it in a visible spot right in your garden bed. Some pots don’t even need plants to look great.
Late Winter Pear Blossoms
This pear tree is a late winter bloomer and probably a better choice for our area than the cherry tree. It is also much enjoyed by our bees.
Late Winter Cherry Blossoms
This busy bee is finding much-needed pollen from the blossoms of a Japanese cherry tree. In South Texas, cherry trees don’t wait until April to bloom and are sometimes blooming as early as the end of January. When planning your landscape, try to include some winter bloomers that pollinators can rely on.
Colored Bottles Make Elegant Yard Art
Classic Ornamental Kale and Bay Laurel
Ornamental kale (foreground) is a winter annual that will fade with warmer temperatures. The dark green bay laurel hedge (background) stays green year-round and is an interesting substitute to more common hedge choices such as red-tipped photenia, which is no longer recommended for our area. Yes, this is the same bay leaf used for cooking.
Bottles and Bottle Caps
Here is a fun way to use not only bottles, but also bottle caps.
A Perfect Backbone Plant -Pittisporum
Frequently found in older San Antonio neighborhoods, pittisporum is a long-lived large shrub that stays evergreen; boasts very fragrant white or cream flowers in the spring.
An Ancient Plant, the Sego
Bring a little Jurassic Park to your landscape. Not a true palm but a member of the ancient Cycad family of plants, segos were around with the dinosaurs. These plants have changed little since then. They are evergreen, long-lived and slow-growing -- so large ones are valuable. Can get nipped in a frost.
A Blue Pathway
Garden pathways are a classic garden element. Add some color to your pathway to brighten the cloudy days of winter. Choose your color to complement or contrast with your plants that are flowering at other times of the year.