America ought to be redeemed from its present bleakness and ugliness in winter. The chief elements in that reform will be the shrubs with vivid berries and branches (such as the Japanese barberry and the red-twigged dogwood), because they give the cheapest and quickest results. But these bushes, being leafless, show brightest against an evergreen background. This is all the more reason for broad-leaved evergreens at the base of every dwelling house where they will grow. For winter in the North is five twelfths of the year, or rather the trees are leafless as long as that.
We must not run too much to rhododendrons, for in zero weather their leaves hang down, curl in, and look most unhappy. Mountain laurel is one of the cheeriest in winter. We can get superb bronzes from Azalea amcena, arching wands from Leu-cothoe, amazing lustiness from Berberis Japonica, a perfect carpet of running myrtle where grass will not grow, and above all, the never-fading glories of American holly.