Gardening has long been a passion of mine, and I especially love flowers. I don’t consider myself an expert rather, I treat this pastime as a hobby. So, when I recently moved to another State that has a climate I’m not used to, it posed a bit of a problem in the garden department.
Summers are much hotter, and winters are colder where I am now. In fact, snow in my part of the world isn’t uncommon for several months at a time. What is great however, is that my own little piece of green space is pretty much a blank canvas. This means I’ve been able to start from scratch and decided to pass on some of the information I’ve come across to you.
Hedge or Edge – What Will it Be?
One of the best plants I’ve discovered if you’re looking for some ground or border cover is the flowering quince. There does seem to be a bit of conflict on when this shrub actually flowers, so it can be any time from late winter to early spring. However, when it does, boy it certainly packs a punch! It has bright orange to reddish blooms, and as the plant matures the color deepens and becomes even more spectacular.
I’ve been told the Quince makes a great edge for your borders or will even grow into a natural hedge. It’s also a fantastic starter plant for those of you who have anything but green fingers. It’s hardy and will withstand being neglected as well as cold weather.
If you Want a Real Feel for Winter
Evergreens don’t give you much color in winter, except for green of course! So, if you’re someone who doesn’t mind seeing leaves fall to the ground during the fall, think about adding some Winterberry to your garden. The best way to describe this bush is it’s like a deciduous version of a holly bush.
Once the leaves have left this plant to add some much-needed nutrients to the soil, you’ll be left with bright red berries which are quite stunning when the snow starts to fall. Although, it’s worth remembering to plant both male and female types or you won’t get those berries. Oh, and you get the choice of spring or fall to plant them.
Not all Witches are Evil
Witch hazel is another favorite of mine, for two reasons. In summer the fragrance you get from this plant is something to die for, and in winter you’re treated to some of the most stunning looking flowers I’ve come across. They can be described as little blasts of red, orange and yellow rays of sunshine. Something that will definitely add a splash of color on those cold, grey days.
Beware though, this plant will need some planning when you’re deciding where to put it. It can grow to about 15 feet in height and almost the same in width, so it will need some space. That said, once it’s mature witch hazel is a true beauty when it’s in full bloom.
Christmas and Beyond
Ok, so there’s plenty of sparkle around during the festive season, but it doesn’t always reach your garden (unless you’re someone who doesn’t mind massive electric bills)! If you want to give guests something natural to marvel at, try a Christmas rose. These make excellent additions along pathways but do need spots that don’t get a lot of sun.
Plan to pop these in the soil during spring and you’ll be treated to lovely blooms from late December all the way through to early spring. The showy flowers will appear on stout stems that will always peek above snowfall (as long as it’s not 10 feet high)!
Closer to the Ground
January isn’t my favorite month of the year. Not only are all the festivities done with, the weather can be really difficult to take. Plus, I’m not rich enough to jet off somewhere warm. So, if you want something that reminds you spring will eventually arrive, scatter some snowdrop bulbs under larger shrubs and in rock gardens.
Blooming in late winter they make a lovely addition to any garden, and really help if you have ground to cover. Although, do make sure you have a machine that easily gets rid of excess snow or you might miss them. Another late winter bloomer is the sweet box. This also has little white blossoms that will compliment your snowdrops, plus it smells divine!
Have fun With Your Winter Wonderland
I haven’t included much in the way of evergreens such as conifers or boxwood hedges, it won’t do any harm to add some. They’ll add some much-needed green foliage, and depth to your little piece of plant heaven.
As you may have noticed, when planting the above flowers for the first time you don’t have to put your thermals on. Most of them can be added to the garden either in spring or the fall which means you won’t be out digging soil over in sub-zero temperatures!
As long as you make sure young shrubs and flowers are well looked after before the really poor weather hits, you’ll be treated to a rainbow of colors during winter. Even when the snow falls and you’re feeling down because it doesn’t seem like there’s anything to look forward to, all you need do is peek out of your window into the garden.
I can’t think of anything better at this time of year!