Landscape Spotlight: Red Twig Dogwood, Arctic Fire and Arctic Sun

Posted December 31, 2015 in Blog, Plant and Tree

When it snows, the winter months provide a beautiful glistening landscape for us to admire.  Fresh white powder blankets as far as the eye can see, and the snow seems to sparkle in the sunlight.  Then, after a few weeks, the pretty snowy shimmer dies down and the romantic mood that filled the air is replaced with those longing for warmer and drier days.  When everything outside remains the same color and you wish to see signs of spring, what can you do?

If you prepared your landscaping plan in advance, all you need to do is look out your window to get a peek at the colorful winter landscape.  There are several plantings that you can incorporate into your winter landscape for splashes of color amidst the weary winter backdrop.  One specific shrub that dazzles in the colder months is the Red Twig Dogwood.  This shrub has a few varieties, but the Arctic Fire and the Arctic Sun are very notable during this time of the year.

The Arctic Fire, Cornus Sericea ‘Farrow’ and the Arctic Sun, Cornus Sanguinea ‘Cato’ are both excellent examples of how color can really make your landscape pop during the winter.  The Arctic Fire and Arctic Sun are nearly identical except for their stem color combinations when their leaves fall away.  Arctic Fire amazes even the most unimpressed spectators with its bright red stems and the Arctic Sun can stop onlookers in their tracks with its beautiful yellow stems accented with a red hombre at the tips.

These deciduous perennial shrubs have a lot going for them.  Their compact growth habits allow them to grow to a suitable 3-4′ in height and width, just the same.  They both thrive in full to partial sun and are moisture tolerant.  The spring and summer blooms show off rich green leaves and they both display small, but charming white flowers in late spring and little berries for the wildlife in late summer.  When the months start to get colder, they remain deer resistant when all other plants and shrubs seem to be gobbled up by the various wildlife.  This lends to the shrub’s year-long magnificence.

Planting these shrubs in front of darker evergreens will surely make your landscape stand out.  The Arctic Fire and Arctic Sun are a great focal point as well as an astounding accent to your landscape.  The most colorful twigs are from newer/younger growth, so pruning in the spring is key if you would like ultra-vibrant colors during the winter.  Once the stems display their full color potential, you can trim them from the shrubs and integrate them into your winter arrangements.  Their dynamic color will not go unnoticed!

A little planning ahead will guarantee a landscape full of winter interest, just when you seem to need it the most.  A talented and driven landscape designer uses plants to create beautiful landscapes, just as an artist would use paints to create a beautiful canvas.  Knowledge, experience and passion separate the plant collectors from the landscape design professionals.  If you feel that you need help re-imagining your landscape and outdoor living space, reach out to MasterPLAN Landscape Design.  MasterPLAN has the vision, skills and professionalism it takes to properly design, manage and transform your backyard, ensuring an enjoyable and hassle-free experience!

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