Winter can be a drab time of the year in the garden unless you plan for winter color by planting trees, shrubs, and evergreens that will provide winter interest.
One of my favorite tall shrubs/trees for the winter garden is the deciduous holly, Ilex verticillata. These American native hollies are covered with densely packed red berries from late summer into early spring but they are in their full glory in the late fall and winter when their brilliant red berries stand out against the dark gray naked branches!
Winterberry is extremely effective when planted en masse. The colorful berries are stunning against the snow in winter and birds will feast on them all winter!
Ilex verticillata is wonderful for cutting for use in fall and winter arrangements and holiday decorations. Andre cuts berry filled branches in November for use in many of his Christmas displays both inside and outside his home. The branches are used dry - no need to keep them in water. They will keep indoors for many weeks.
Winterberry grows best in full sun to part shade in well-drained, moist, acid soil. They are great for wet areas of the landscape. Berry production is enhanced when the tree/shrub is planted in full sun. Like the evergreen hollies, the winterberry holly is dioecious, meaning the male and female flowers are produced on separate plants. In order to ensure a good crop of berries, be sure to plant a male plant to pollinate the female flowers! The male can be planted in the background - it just needs to be within 50 feet of the female plants.