The Winter Bloomers from my Oak Hill Garden
As an avid gardener, I always want SOMETHING to be blooming year round. During the colder winter months that is easier said than done. I’m not the type of gardener to plant seedlings and put them in a greenhouse type of environment. I am more the type that throws seeds into the garden in the spring and hope that something takes. J
But there are some trusty perennials and shrubs that WILL bloom during these cold months. I’ll go over some of them here and feel free to add others in the comments section if you like!
As far as perennials go, there are always the trusty hellebores, commonly known as the Lenten Rose. From white to black and all shades in between, they are solid bloomers from around the middle of January through March. Their flowers seem to last forever and beckon me to come outside and get a sneak peak at what is to come.
Another nice perennial is the Christmas fern, Polystichum acristichoides. There aren’t any blooms per se but these hardy evergreen ferns don’t back down due to colder temperatures!
You will most likely see your crocus blooming as well. You can plant them in full sun and not as deep as they should be to ensure that they make an early appearance.
The perennials are scant in comparison to the shrubs!
Here are the shrubs I currently see blooming in my yard:
Bamboo Nandina, Nandina domestica – this shrub has wonderful red berries in the winter – I use them in my Christmas decorations as a substitute for holly berries. They are a cheerful pop of color during the bleak winter months in my Oak Hill garden.
Then there is the Oregon Grape Holly, Mahonia aquifolium – what a gorgeous mix of deep green leather looking leaves and bright yellow flowers atop them.
The Yellow Twig Dogwood, Cornus sericea ‘Flaviramea’ I have fallen in love with for the way that its’ branches yellow up in late winter, then help accent the spring blooms of other shrubs. It’s one of my favorite color combinations that I have planted – at the back, 2 yellow twig dogwoods with a purple plum in between them. Then 3 golden barberry bushes, Barberis thunbergii ‘Aurea’ in front of those taller shrubs, with purple alliums, blue hosta, Virginia bluebells, purple salvia, ‘Wine and Roses’ weigela and topped off with a Clematis heracleifolia – it may actually be integrifolia - (shrub clematis – no need to stake!). I feel like I am in heaven when this little garden is in full bloom…
By favorite by far is the Witch Hazel. Hammamelis x intermedia is the quirky looking shrub that always appears to be sneaking up on me. The variety that I have is called ‘Diane’ and has that ‘70s looking color of orange. One day every February I look outside and the thing seems to have bloomed out of nowhere!
I know there are plenty of other shrubs that bloom in winter, but my good intentions to have already planted them in my Oak Hill garden have fallen by the wayside thus far. Here’s my short list anyway:
· Winter Jasmine, Jasminum nudiflorum
· Winterberry Holly, Ilex verticillata
· Camellias, zone 6 tolerant in a southern microclimate for best blooming
· Lily of the Valley bush or Japanese Andromeda, Pieris japonica
Don’t forget to notice that beautiful peeling bark on your crape myrtles! To me that is just as beautiful as the others mentioned. So get out there – well, wait another month and a half – then get out there and plant some of these selections for your winter garden pleasure!