Yes, there are plenty of plants, even those that flower, which will grow in the colder months no matter where you live. Well, maybe not in Alaska but in zones three and up, you should be able to successfully grow all kinds of things. I have done some extensive research (Google) and found some that I think are pretty and could make your yard look gorgeous all year long.
There are over 400 species of Holly trees and hedges from one foot tall to large trees over 40 feet tall. The English Holly is a tree with bright green leaves that have the well-known holly leaf shape with the spines that can give you a nasty poke. My parents still have one in the front yard, and I can remember many times having to pull these vicious needled leaves out of my feet when going outside barefoot. It is still big and beautiful and stays green all year long. Although some say they don’t grow well in Missouri, there are many (including my parent’s) that have lived as long as I have, which is 51 years. To get the white flowers and red berries, you will need a male and a female in the same area. My parent’s tree never bloomed, so I am guessing there are no males in the neighborhood to pollinate them. But it is still gorgeous all year.
This large climbing bush is a creeper and a weeper and will start new plants anywhere their limbs touch the ground. You can grow these as a bush, a tree, or even a vine, climbing on a trellis or whatever else you want it to climb on. They love the sun so make sure they are going to get full sun all year long, especially in the winter. It can grow up to about five feet tall as a bush, but as a vine, it will keep going as far as you let it. The bright yellow flowers bloom in the late winter and will stay until summer typically.
The Winterberry is a relative to the Holly but sheds the leaves in the fall, leaving just the bright red berries on the bush, which are food for almost 50 different types of birds, deer, and rabbits. They grow from 3 to 12 feet high and can spread up to 12 feet wide. They bloom greenish white in the summer but are prettiest in the winter, when the entire bush is covered in vibrant red balls. They are easy to care for, grow well in the wild, and may spread if conditions are ideal. Cover with mulch during the coldest months and water only if there are drought conditions.
The Camellia is a beautiful shrub that is amazing in the summer with huge and stunning flowers bursting with color and dark evergreen leaves during the winter. They come in many different colors such as red, peach, pink, white, and light rose. The flowers can withstand temperatures down to 15 degrees Fahrenheit, but once they are gone, the shiny green leaves stay all year. They can grow single, double, semi-double, and double peony blooms, depending on which type and species that you choose and may grow up to 10 feet tall. They can be difficult and picky, according to some experts, but if you have acidic soil between 6 and 6.5 pH, it should be fine. They do not like full sun though so plant it in a shadier area. Be sure to cover the bottom with mulch in the winter and continue to water them all year.
Also known as an azalea, the Rhododendron is an exquisite flower bush or tree has over one thousand species that can be evergreen or deciduous and last all year long. Yes, they can grow from four inches to 100 feet tall, depending on the species and conditions. This is a hardy and easy to grow plant that practically takes care of itself. They like sun or shade and will grow in any temperature, withstanding droughts and wet weather. These flowers typically bloom in the early spring and can be any color from white to red to blue.
The Yarrow is a rhizome that spreads and creates a ground cover that some liken to an aggressive weed. However, they are beautiful, easy to grow, and live all year long. They have a fern-like look and smell with medium green foliage and small white, red, orange, or yellow groups of flowers. They will live all year and bloom at different times of the year, depending on the species. They grow up to about three feet tall and three feet wide and need full sun to look their best. The butterflies love them, and they don’t need much water or cover during the winter. Unlike me, they like the cold.
This is actually a wildflower native to the Midwest and has adorable drooping flowers that can be any color combination, but the most common Columbine are red/yellow and orange/pink. They bloom from April to June but continue to have pretty green leaves all year long. These little beauties only get up to one and a half feet tall and smell amazing. The hummingbirds will flock to them in the summertime, and the deer will eat the fallen berries during the winter.
Blue Oat Grass
My hubby loves this grass, and it is easy to see why. The Blue Oat Grass looks like a mini water fountain with long, thin leaves that reach to the sky and then fall down to the ground. It can grow up to three feet tall but starts drooping to the ground, making it more like a round spray of long spiky leaves. It likes full sun, is greenish yellow all year long, but can be a blue color in the spring and withstands severe cold.
There are many more winter hardy plants, both flowering and evergreen but too many to describe here. Some of the other common ones include the Inkberry, Spiderwort, Prairie Dropseed, Boxwood, Chicks & Hens, Spike Seedwell, Little Bluestem, Pincushion Flower, Soapwort, Peony, Mountain Laurel, Firethorn, Flowering Dogwoods, and Witch Hazel. Really, there are many more and, depending on where you live; your garden can be green all year long.