January and February are good months to check out your garden bones. Trees and shrubs are the larger components of the landscape and serve to anchor, frame, and define the garden. They are the bones of the garden.
Their function in the winter garden is even more pronounced in the absence of annuals, perennials, and seasonal foliage. Winter bones add interest to the otherwise barren landscape. A good garden design incorporates both deciduous and evergreen material for added interest.
I have found that gardens with at least thirty percent evergreen plantings work best in the winter months. Evergreens such as rhododendron, azalea, holly , cypress, and spruce add color and texture to the winter garden and offer protection to the winter bird population. Good bones make a great garden!