We took a tour of Red Butte Garden’s Four Seasons garden, which is the first of many themed gardens patrons will encounter during their visit. Here we were shown some of the hidden beauties of the garden. Listed below are 10 plants we discovered on our tour, with more details about what makes each of these plants so special. Perhaps one of them would be a great addition to your own landscape!
1. Variegated Tatarian Dogwood
This shrub undergoes many colorful transformations through the year—from little white flowers to lush green foliage. Younger branches are more red, so cutting branches back rejuvenates the tree for a bright show in the wintertime. Dogwood’s thin, red stems brighten any winter landscape and vividly contrast the snow and sunlight.
2. Golden Harvest Crabapple
Crabapples’ beautiful flowering branches lose their leaves in the fall, but retain the fruit throughout the winter. Having a tree that is bare of any leaves provides a chance to see the lovely, architectural branching pattern of the trees and their structure.
3. Bosnian Pine
A tall, narrow evergreen with long, upright branches makes a good addition for open spaces in a landscape.
4. White Fir
The star of the winter garden, this is a native evergreen with light gray bark. Fir trees are easy to identify by their flat needles. Simply remember the old rhyme: “Spruce are single, square and scaly, Prickly pine is in packets, and Flat and friendly fir.” Against the backdrop of snow, it’s easy to see why White Firs are popular as Christmas trees.
5. Ilex Holly
Garden designers often use holly in their landscapes because they are attractive looking year-round, and the berries attract birds and wildlife. This Ilex Holly bush is deciduous, unlike their native evergreen lookalikes Mahonia, which gives us a chance to see their beautiful branching pattern after the leaves fall. Grown in your own yard, you could easily use the berry laden branches of the Ilex Holly to augment holiday decorations and wreaths.
6. Weeping Japanese Red Pine
These ornamental trees have unique shapes and variations, and are easy to train and shape, with reddish colored peeling bark that lends their namesake.
7. Slowmound Mugo Pine
This dwarf, compact conifer is frequently used in landscaping and ornamental gardens. The Slowmound Mugo Pine gives homeowners and landscape designers a wonderful option to provide texture and color in small spaces. Their bark is gray-brown and scaly, but doesn’t peel.
8. Dwarf Argentinian Blue Spruce
This tree is popular in ornamental gardens because of the beautiful, symmetrical shape it naturally forms. As all evergreens do, it provides green all year long; but, because it’s needles are slightly blue, it adds color interest to any landscape.
9. China Snow Lilac
Hardy and beautiful, this lilac adds accent and shade to your garden. The amber-colored, exfoliating bark becomes the prominent feature of this shrub in the winter. When the branches are more visible, this exfoliating bark make the limbs of the tree look “lit-up” when back-lit by the sun.
10. Washington Hawthorn
Small, bright, red fruit stays on this tree all winter. The branches have thorns offering texture and color, as well as a place for birds to perch and rest. The mature bark is flaky. The brown and gray outer plates flake off, exposing a beautiful, red-orange interior bark.