Some people get so taken up with flowers, and leave out evergreens, when they are designing their gardens. They forget most perennials hibernate underground during the cold months of winter....and that WE, unlike bears don't. No we walk around our gardens all year, even if it is at a much, much brisker pace. Sometimes a mad dash.
Evergreens are the "bones" of the garden. They are there to hold it all together when the other plants don't want to come out and play in the snow. Yet most beginning gardeners don't include any in their island gardens or borders. The only downside is that they are more costly than perennials and annuals yet should be one of the first investments. Lowes, Home Depot, and Walmart are just a few stores that sell these for a little bit of nothing compared to the larger plant nurseries. They provide shelter from cold drying winds and keep the microclimate a little warmer.
There are little perks not usually mentioned with evergreens and that is they provide shelter for birds and their nests. Big birds prey on little birds that come to your feeders. If they can make a quick dive into an evergreen shrub it saves their life. You need the little birds to eat the, no so welcoming, foraging insects.
The next plus is that you can take cuttings from your evergreens and start new shrubs. Yes, people can add to their gardens in a big way, if they have the patience to wait until the cuttings become established.
Have a Westie Day...full of spunk and vitality!