Fight the winter landscape blahs with gorgeous and affordable flowers – options that keep the color popping all year long.
By Elizabeth Millard
No matter where your log home might be, September is often the month when gardening efforts begin to wind down. Autumn flowers are just beginning to thrive, but summer’s bright and glorious colors won’t be gracing your landscape until next year.
Sound familiar? If so, it’s time to shake things up.
There are many fantastic winter plant choices that provide rich hues and foliage even if you live in an area known for deep freezes. If you plant in early-to-mid September, you’re likely to have a variety of winter blooms that will keep your property looking lush and lovely.
Best of all, it only takes a few of these standouts to make a dramatic difference, so a tiny investment now can make winter gardening very affordable, especially since these perennials bloom year after year. Here are three top picks:
A type of holly, this variety loses its leaves in autumn, but breathtaking red berries remain throughout midwinter. The attention-getting display brings a huge splash of color across any landscape, especially in northern regions where the season’s color choices range from white to brown to more white.
2. Flowering Quince
One of the first to bloom in that wedge of time between late winter and early spring, this shrub provides pigment when most other plants are still dormant. In southern zones, you’ll see flowers as early as January, and those in the north will spot them in late February to early March. Bonus: The colder the winter, the more abundant the flowers will be on the shrub.
3. Japanese Camellia
Affectionately known as “the rose of winter,” this camellia variety grows wild in many parts of Asia and boasts a wide range of colorful shades from the palest pinks to the deepest reds. They’re also revered for their exceptionally long blooming season. Some hybrids that include Japanese camellia can bloom from November to April, even in northern climates.
As with any gardening efforts, it’s best to swing by a local nursery and chat with the experts there about what works well in your specific geographic area, since soil conditions affect plant hardiness. Pick up some care tips, especially about potential pruning in the spring, and you’ll have a gasp-worthy garden, no matter how ferocious Old Man Winter might get.