Friday, December 6, 2013

Easy way to extend the winter growing season

Saw this article and wanted to share.  It is such a great and easy way to get a longer growing season Longer growing Season

Foliage Power

Last post we talked about the hellebore and the color provided by its blooms.  This time I wanted to remind you that color can come from the foliage as well.  Here is one of my favorites!


While heather is a well-celebrated plant throughout Europe, it's often forgotten in this country. It's time for that to change, though. This versatile flower boasts color year-round. With beautiful flowers in summer and autumn to gorgeous foliage in winter, this beauty is sure to make a strong impact in your garden.

  • Common Names: Heather.
  • Botanical Name: Calluna.
  • Hardiness: Zones 5 to 7, although hardy in Zone 3 with adequate winter protection.
  • Bloom Time: Midsummer to late autumn.
  • Size: 4 to 24 inches high, up to 30 inches wide.
  • Flowers: Bell-shaped flowers of red, purple, pink, or white shades.
  • Light Needs: Full sun.
  • Growing Advice: Overwinter where snowfall is light with mulch and pine branches.
  • Prize Picks: Blazeaway's yellow foliage turns bright red in the winter to fire up barren landscapes.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Beautiful blooms in the winter

In the month of December, I'd like to share some of my favorite plants that give us beautiful blooms in the colder months.  Just because the weather outside is frightful - nature still gives us something delightful!


No winter garden is complete without hellebore's lovely cup-shaped blooms. It'll be difficult to choose just one variety of this distinctive flower. But no matter the kind and color, each offers beautiful evergreen foliage. You're sure to love hellebore so much, you'll wish it bloomed year-round.
  • Common Names: Hellebore, Christmas rose, Lenten rose.
  • Botanical Name: Helleborus.
  • Hardiness: Zones 4 to 9, depending on cultivar.
  • Bloom Time: Midwinter to spring.
  • Size: 2 inches to 4 feet high, 1 to 3 feet wide.
  • Flowers: Cup-shaped blooms of white, pink, purple, and green.
  • Light Needs: Full to partial shade.
  • Growing Advice: Top with organic matter in spring, then mulch around the plant to retain moisture. An even supply of moisture is important.
  • Prize Picks: Royal Heritage easily blooms for about a while in a mix of colors.