As my garden transition from fall to winter I am able to once again see the subtle beauties that have been obscured over the past months by colorful flowers and foliage. This is when the arborvitae fern growing in a shadowy corner of the garden catches my eye. I have found that its green foliage turns to a cinnamon color as it prepares to go dormant for winter.

My arborvitae fern is planted in an area of my garden that doesn’t have the best drainage, but it thrives despite the wet and cold winter soil. I am excited by the way it has spread into a dense mat revealing its qualities as a good shade tolerant groundcover.

I am embarrassed to admit that I cannot remember from where or when I first brought this plant into my garden, but it has been a persistent perennial from the beginning, and one I can always count on to return in the spring.