I would like to give a shout-out to this wonderful shrub, the inkberry holly. I have several in my yard, and they are so beautiful and hardy I'm tempted to plant more. They are native to the area, and despite a long spell of single-digit weather they show no sign of "freezer burn", nor did they snap and break in the ice. Their leaves have remained a lovely glossy deep green through the whole winter. In summer, they look fresh no matter if we're having a flood or a drought. I like to keep mine pruned in a loose, natural shape, but some people clip them like boxwood and create a much denser look. If you're looking for a carefree native, the inkberry is my recommendation!
We're headed into the more interesting time of year for strolling. To see who else was tempted out by the 40 degree weather, go to The Quiet Country House.