Hellebore: The Bright Star of Winter Gardens

helleboresAmidst the snowdrops during these winters many gardeners must be glaring with the ‘galanthomania‘ ,so popular have they become, but if you seek flamboyance in your winter flowers then look no further than “hellebores”.

Hellebores flowers offer you a wide range of colors and color combinations, and many are long flowering through winter and well into spring. Their often large, pendulous blooms look especially attractive grown among lower growing spring flowers such as wood anemones, primroses and snowdrops.

Hellebores are of course easy to grow, and will generally thrive in any reasonable fertile soil. These woodland plants are well suited to light, dappled or partial shade and will also do well in full sun if the soil remains reasonably damp; they do not, however, like being waterlogged. Many perennials are reinvigorated by being split every three or four years, but not hellebores. Division sometimes causes them to die, so it is better and easier to let them keep on developing into good-sized clumps. Read the rest of this entry

Deciduous Trees For Your Winter Garden

lombardy poplarPassing through the February winters while the spring may officially be a few weeks away, gardeners know that it is a good time to embrace winter and make the most of it and let spring come when it is good and gosh darn ready.

Winter can be a delightful time of the year in the garden. Deciduous trees and shrubs have lost their leaves and it is a good time to reflect on the forms they leave behind. Deciduous trees and shrubs remind of the popular terms associated with like “vase shaped” or “columnar” or “globe shaped” or “weeping”. Read the rest of this entry

Perfect Tips For Growing Winter Flowering Shrubs

witch hazelWinter-flowering shrubs ,trees and flowers open up a new opportunity for gardeners to exploit the potential of the winter garden in all its beauty by growing some of the season’s most beautiful woody plants.

Witch hazels, is a deciduous, winter-flowering shrub. There are many winter growing plants with their crumpled petals in various shades of copper, gold, burnt orange, ember-red and lemon-yellow.

Depending on the variety, the witch hazel’s elegantly ragged flowers can appear on starkly bare stems from as early as Christmas or as late as March. They last an average of six weeks and despite their apparent fragility, are defiant of even the iciest winter weather. Read the rest of this entry

Growing Vegetables Outdoors All Winter Long

Hoop frameIt is indeed possible if the plants are kept properly warm. It would be good to cover the plants during winters, tucking them in and letting the natural light do all the work. Learning this to do with a little skill  would enable you to harvest fresh homegrown vegetables any time of year.

Gardeners know it well that planting vegetables normally wouldn’t grow well in winter. Every generation seems to have a better idea and sometimes these ideas give birth to new ideas.

An innovative idea would be to extend the growing season by at least a month on either end with the raised bed hoop house.  The wooden raised bed with required dimensions needs to be installed with flexibility for removable hoops that could be draped heavy with clear plastic. The bed could be as long as we wanted. The plastic should be used to keep out the cold air but let the sunlight in. Read the rest of this entry

Evergreen Plants and Shrubs For Winter Garden

winter shrubWinter gardens would look great with the evergreen plants as well as the large shrubs and these are also favorites among the winter gardeners.

Top of the list of winter-value shrubs is Daphne odora ‘Aureomarginata’. You will also find February flowers with stunning scent. For a winter garden you may also select growing Sarcococca hookeriana which is tolerant of deep shade. The large gardens will of course embrace the “cartwheel” mahonias (such as ‘Lionel Fortescue’).

Other leafy favourites are Olearia ilicifoliaPittosporum ‘Silver Queen’, ‘Irene Paterson’, or ‘Tom Thumb’, also Drimys winteri,Brachyglottis monroi and Phlomis chrysophylla. The tiny dusky-dull leaves of Corokia ‘Bronze King’ cheer up a boring laurel backdrop. Read the rest of this entry

Lime Glow Junipers Add Color To Your Winter Garden

lime glow junipersDuring the winter seasons it is a good idea to add a little color in your garden.

Lime Glow creeping juniper (Juniperus horizontalis) is a lovely compact evergreen shrub with its soft, feathery, lime-green summer foliage. During winters you will be surprised with its bronze-purple with pink tips. Its winter color is, of course, nothing compared to all the bright hues in the flamboyant summer garden.

Lime Glow Juniper develops its best color, summer and winter, in full sun. Experts mostly agree on the non-fading summer color of lime-green. But the winter color is variously described as burnished gold, bronze-orange, burnt orange, bronzy copper, and deep purple with pink flashes. Read the rest of this entry

ornamental winter plantsAll gardeners love their gardens and buying plants, but the economy has not sufficiently rebounded for most people to make large purchases of plants.

Ornamental plants usually go slow in sales partly due to the cool weather and partly due to the sluggish economy, with one exception — the sales of edibles, fruit trees and vegetable plants is increasing, for some garden centres as much as a 10-15 per cent increase. It comes as no surprise to those of us who are interested in growing our own veggies and food security that edible plants are one of the most popular plants sold at garden centres.

Despite the cool weather , now is a good time to plant trees, shrubs, perennials, vines and even annuals. Planting during cool weather is ideal for most hardy ornamentals, since they will take advantage of the abundant rainfall and cool temperatures to grow roots before the heat of summer arrives. Read the rest of this entry

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