Sometimes gardeners just simply forget how much beauty can be achieved in the winter garden. As annuals and deciduous plants die back, they give way to glorious conifers and other winter beauties that rely on texture and fall colors to maximize the winter interest in your garden.

Here are few of Al's favorite conifers that fill that spot in your yard:

Cypress 'Wilma Goldcrest'

Cypress 'Wilma Goldcrest'

This smaller sized cypress is just so cute!  I never thought I would say that about a cypress, but it's perfect in a ceramic container on your deck, or to plant in the garden for the bright golden accent.  Easy to grow, 'Wilma Goldcrest' will easily become one of your favorites.  And it's lemon-lime fragrance, just adds to its worth!

Arborvitae 'Fire Chief'

Just like it's name implies, this nearly perfect globe shaped shrub has finely textured, bright golden spring foliage and fantastic deep red fall color.  No pruning is necessary to maintain it's compact, rounded form.  Perfect for your landscape foundation or in a rock garden.

Dianthus 'Greenball'

This perfect round, fuzzy, ball shaped lime green shrub flowers in late spring and summer.  It's an especially good choice for borders and containers.

Juniper 'All Gold'

Hemlock 'Jervis'

This multi-stemmed evergreen shrub has a graceful spreading, trailing habit.  It's dark green foliage emerges light green in spring, but the needles stay dark green throughout the winter.  This shrub performs well in both full sun an full shade, and it's always a good idea to apply mulch around the root zone in winter, to protect it from exposure.

Juniper 'All Gold'

The soft golden foliage of this wonderful ground cover is also used frequently in container designs, where it drapes nicely over the edge of your pot.  We like it because it holds its color even in the sun, when other shrubs tend to fade in color. This beauty is deer resistant, and drought tolerant once established.

Add additional winter interest to your garden by adding Mahonia. The Oregon State flower shows off its pinnate leaves made up of spiny leaflets.  Mahonia has dense clusters of yellow flowers, followed by dark bluish-blackberries which the birds love.  Mahonia is native to western North America and resembles holly.

Mahonia is the Oregon State flower!

Mahonia 'Soft Caress'

Few plants offer the texture that 'Soft Caress'provides the shade garden.  In early winter, bright yellow flowers stand atop the slender, bamboo-like foliage.  Perfect for your Asian inspired garden.

Mahonia 'Marvel'

Statuesque and upright, this Mahonia has large front like leaves that develop in whorls along coarsely branched stems.  Gorgeous sprays of fragrant, yellow flowers appear in late fall or early winter.  Flowers develop into grape like clusters of wax coated black berries by late summer.