N.C. — Well, it isn’t exactly a burst of springtime
bloom, but flowers are starting to open up nicely. Even
after the deep freeze that hit two weeks ago, many
winter flowers are amazing us with their bravado.
example, my Lady Clare camellia, which is one of my most
favored plants, took a bad hit in the deep freeze, the
open blooms ruined by the cold. But none of the buds
were harmed and have opened up beautifully and with no
damage. And the first of the early crocuses are
appearing, small things of such delicate beauty it is
hard to imagine winter does not faze them.
this is how it goes in the Piedmont winter. We get an
Arctic blast one weekend, spring-like warmth the next.
The plants carry on and send out blooms to let us know
all is well.
are fortunate in the Piedmont to have a large array of
choice plants to help make winter wonderful through the
winter. Some are choice, such as the camellias, for the
beautiful blooms between fall and spring and the
year-round good looks of the evergreen foliage. As a
group, they are our most beautiful and useful landscape
shrub, totally rewarding on many counts.
they and the tiny winter crocuses are not your only
choices for cold-weather glory. One of the most popular
and best performing perennials, Lenten rose, will be
sending up new foliage and flowers in a few weeks, a
look that will last for months.
early cherry trees, including Okame cherry and Prunus
mume, are stellar in the winter landscape and still
surprise people with their pink flowers in winter.
Another tree is wintersweet (Chimonanthus praecox). It
blooms very early, rises 10 to 15 feet and prospers in
full sun or part shade. Out of bloom, it is not that
interesting so give it a background space, but a spot
where you can still enjoy the spicy flowers in winter
and the yellow fall foliage.
love winter daphne (Daphne odora) for its appearance and
the scent of its flowers in late winter. It requires
shade. Even more than shade, it requires perfect soil
drainage to avoid sudden death caused by root rot. The
plant is pretty, round in shape, and had solid green or
variegated foliage. It can reach 3 feet over time.
you yearn for something bright and bold in winter,
consider winter jasmine. This shrub, Jasminum nudiflorum,
produces bright yellow flowers on bright green stems in
late winter. It produces a very graceful shrub with
arching stems lined with blooms. It is often confused
with forsythia. But forsythia blooms later, is usually
more vertical, taller and has beige stems instead of
I have hanging ferns on my porch each summer and fall.
This year, with babying, they survived until January.
What are my options for hanging plants during the winter
and spring? My porch looks naked without something
I am afraid there isn’t a huge array to choose from in
hardy hanging basket plants. Pansies could work provided
they get enough sunshine. One thing you might consider
is the Autumn fern. It is very pretty, very hardy and
looks good through winter. It would grow in a hanging
basket through the year. A third choice could be
primroses, sold in small pots in many beautiful colors.
They are very hardy and the colors always grab attention