Beefing Up The Winter Garden
Beefing up the Winter Garden
Last week, I thought about how I can make my garden a little more interesting in the winter. The picture in the last post is highly unusual. We do not normally have snow at all-not even a few flakes. That means we have a very long winter without much snow and lots of brown and dormant lawns. If I get organized in time for next winter, I will be planting more of these plants to add greenery during the summer and flowers, fruit or other interest for the winter. The best part about these three beauties is that they are good for the organic garden, also. All three are fairly pest and disease resistant. They put on their shows in the winter, when most insects are MIA, but their foliage is also sturdy during the summer.
These little (mostly) perennials are evergreen. They generally bloom in late winter to early spring. They do best in the shade, and the easiest to grow are the Oriental Hybrid Hellebores. Neutral to slightly acidic soil makes them happy, and they don’t like to have continuously wet feet. You need to be careful to not plant them too deeply-if the crowns are more than just barely covered with soil, they won’t bloom as well.
There are hybrids and species, and almost every single color imaginable!
Daphne is notoriously picky. It either loves or hates where it is planted, and it is almost impossible to tell the plant’s ultimate verdict until you plant it. However, if you can find a place that Daphne loves to live, you are home free. The fragrance, alone, is enough reason to plant this. You have never smelled anything as nice. Ever. It likes the shade, and a neutral soil pH. Carol Mackie has a golden leaf margin, and the glossy green leaves are pretty in the garden, even when the shrub is not blooming.
I want one of these, BADLY! I remember the first time I saw one of these blooming. They bloom in my town around late January-early February. They look like cotton candy. They are adorable and pretty. They are a shocking surprise in the middle of winter. Their common name is the Flowering Apricot. They are fluffy and frivolous, but I love ‘em. At a full height of 20 feet, they make nice ornamental trees for near the house or beds near the center of the lawn. If you plant these in your yard, you will get lots of admiring looks from passers-by.
There is more eye-candy for my winter garden beyond these three. I’ll bring you more organic-garden friendly winter plants in a few days!