I'm sure you are just as anxious to get out into the dirt as I am. While I wait, I've been practically drooling over plant catalogs, and that's helped me get through these chilly days indoors.
I was so excited to read of new plant available through my plant supplier, Midwest Groundcovers in St. Charles, IL. They've really expanded their selection of native trees and shrubs, and since they are available in 5 gallon containers (read - they are smaller than what you'd find in a nursery), they are really economical and easy to transport and plant yourself. These plants are not only native to our local climate, but they also support our native birds, insects, and other wildlife.
Here are a few that I can't wait to incorporate into my designs this year:
Cornus alternifolia (Pagoda Dogwood) - part shade, 15-30' tall and wide, unique horizontal branching pattern.
Hamamelis virginiana (Witchhazel) - sun or part shade, 10-15' tall and wide, one of the last flowering shrubs in October. More
Quercus alba (White Oak) - sun, 65-85' tall, nice form, tree and it's acorns feed more than 180 insects, birds, and mammals. More
Viburnum trilobum (American Cranberry Bush) - sun to part shade, 10-15' tall and wide, striking fall color and berries.