The numbers of articles addressing the need for, and the satisfaction of structure in a landscape must number in the thousands. My take is that the number one function of evergreens in Michigan landscapes is to bridge, and celebrate the seasons.
As a child, the only TV I had was the weather. Blustery fall days. Icy spring rains. Storms in all their glory. It was a program with a beginning, a story line, and a finish. The music of rain and wind, the silence of intense sun, the gunshot sound of an ice laden branch breaking. The sucking sound of spring mud. Every day seemed different. TV weather now makes much of what might happen, and doesn’t. My advice is to quit watching weather on TV, and go outside and experience it.
Evergreens are a network in my zone; the weather dictates the programming. A solitary boxwood, a hedge of boxwood-a mass of boxwood, reflect weather in all its forms. The soft spring growth so chartreuse in wan spring light gives way to a stately dark formality, casting sharp shadows. The fall leaves are like a new hat. The rain makes the top surface shimmer. A dusting of snow is like icing; later a blanket. Much later, the shape of the snow is dictated by the shape of the boxwood.
The beauty of evergreens, energized by weather, is a bridge from one season to the next in a landscape. They occupy the background with great dignity on weather-benign days. But should every magnolia petal drop early from a late winter blast, they could land gently on a mass of boxwood planted beneath them. The relationship of this boxwood to those the fallen petals-magic.