Thursday, December 1, 2011

Plants for Winter Brightness - Still Time to Plant

Winter Color is More Than Black and White

Even though we have had measurable snow, the ground temperatures are still suitable for planting.  If you can dig, the dormant shrub or evergreen will settle in just fine for the winter.

This is a holly I did not know, 'Orange Flame' a Ragon Grape Holly from Monrovia.  Beautiful burgundy and red leaves caught my eye at a local garden center.

Nandina - spectacular

Hardy to Zone 6, this disease resistant variety, Firepower is a beauty. 
I saw this at a local city park with ornamental grasses behind it.  The tan behind the red was striking.

Viburnum is probably my favorite shrub, with many varieties that have quite different features among them.
Viburnum Brandywine has mauve berries.  There are at least 83 varieties and cultivars of Viburnum in the nurseries.  The American Cranberry Bush and Doublefile Viburnum both have red berries.  Arrowwoods grows to 15' and has blue fruit.  Leatherleaf Viburnum  has black fruit .

Doublefile Viburnum plicatum tomentosum grows to about 9'. 

These red berries appear in the fall on the Serviceberry, AmelanchierLike Viburnum's,  the Serviceberry, 'Autumn Brilliance', has a nice spring bloom.  Four seasons of interest in this shrub that grows to 15' to 25' in Zone 4-9.

Ilex verticillata, Winterberry is a holly that is hardy in Zone 3-8.  This plant is dioecious, which means it has either male or female plant parts on each plant.  Therefore, you will need both male and female varieties to cross pollinate this plant in order to get blooms and fruit.. A dwarf variety, "Red Sprite" grows to 3'-4'. 

Aronia , known as chokeberry  has reliable bright autumn color. Hardy to Zone 4-9, this plant has two varieties;  one variety Black Chokeberry (A. melanocarpa), has black fruit, and another Aronia, Red Chokeberry (A. arbutifolia),  has red fruit.

These shrubs are just a few that I have put on my list.  Winter may not be sooooo loong(!) if I had a these to greet me on a cold, gray day. 

Winter is a time to plan for spring, another way to endure the winter doldrums.  A gardener associate of mine has a website you may enjoy, Mike's Backyard Nursery.  Hubby has watched Mike grow and sell plants right out of his garden for several years.  Quite a story.  Enjoy.
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