November can be a tough month for gardens. In our case, we've just been pummelled by nearly 30 days of continuous rain, but extremely mild temperatures. Plants are still growing and not everything has gone dormant, but they are taking swimming lessons in order to survive! Normally, this is a month where not too many things are left flowering, so most garden colour comes from foliage, stems, berries and bark. That's what this collection of a few of my favourite November plants has to offer.
Rubella Japanese Skimmia
Skimmia japonica ‘Rubella’
Skimmias are workhorse evergreen shrubs ideal for part sun to part shade. Rubella offers red winter buds that open into white flowers in early Spring. It’s fragrant too! This male form is an excellent pollinator for female skimmia in order to produce red attractive berries on those plants. Rubella Skimmia can be used both in the garden or in containers when given a little winter protection. Hardy to zone 6
Wintergreen is a cool season favourite in the Pacific Northwest. It is a North American native with glossy deep green leaves that acquire red tints in the winter. Pink bell-shaped summer flowers blooming are followed by bright red, edible berries in fall and winter. Berries and foliage have a strong wintergreen scent. Grows to 6 inches tall and 8-12 inches wide. A great companion for Rhododendrons, Azaleas or in woodland or wildflower gardens. Best grown in part shade to part sun in right, acidic, moist, but well drained soil. Water regularly in summer. Hardy in zones 3-7
Camellia sasanqua ‘Yuletide’
Camellia sasanqua ‘Yuletide’ is an extremely popular red flowering camellia shrub that typically blooms in November or December in our climate. Large red flowers with a golden stamens make an elegant statement in the winter garden. Great as a foundation shrub or espalier. Glossy, dark green, evergreen foliage can also be used to create a handsome natural hedge. Provide some protection from rain, snow and ice to maximize the flower show. Yuletide Camellia is a moderate grower reaching 8-10ft in height and width. Best in part sun to part shade, but will tolerate full sun in cooler climates like ours.
Ilex x meservae ‘MonNieves’
Scallywag Holly is an exciting discovery. It’s a sport of Little Rascal Holly, but is more upright growing while still keeping a dense rounded form. Shiny dark green foliage takes on an attractive purple-burgundy tone in fall and winter. It’s a wonderful foundation shrub with improved disease resistance too! While it is a male form, and will not produce berries, plant it near female varieties for use as a pollinator. Evergreen. Hardy in USDA zones 5-9. Prefers to be grown in full sun with moderate water. Slow growing, but will ultimately reach 4ft tall and up to 3ft wide.
Red Beauty Holly
Our second Holly this time around, Red Beauty provides abundant bright red berries combined with dense dark green, evergreen foliage. It’s a a wonderful shrub to frame an entrance or driveway. Excellent when clipped or made into an informal hedge. Dense conical form requires little pruning to maintain. For best berry display, plant a male Holly variety nearby as a pollinator. Hollies are lovely when combined with Pieris, Kalmia and Rhododendrons.
Arctic Fire Red Twig Dogwood
Cornus stolonifera ‘Farrow' Arctic Fire Dogwood is a Proven Winners variety of red twig dogwood with dark red winter stems that are great for cutting. Green leaves provide seasonal interest too! It’s cousins are native to many parts of B.C. and it does particularly well in well drained to even boggy soil. A great selection for mass plantings, cutting gardens and is generally considered to be deer resistant. For best stems, prune a third of the branches to the ground in late winter or early spring. Grows 3-5ft tall and equally as wide.
Wilma Goldcrest Cypress
Cupressus macrocarpa ‘Wilma Goldcrest’
This fantastic bright golden-lime yellow cypress is always a winter favourite for gardens and pots. While it is not terribly hardy, what it lacks in longevity is made up for with good looks. It also delivers a nice lemony fragrance when brushed or bruised. For best results, plant it in a sheltered location and as long as we don’t get too cold you should have reasonable success with it. Prefers full sun. Hardy in zones 7-10
Carsten’s Wintergold Mugo Pine
Grown by Monrovia, ‘Carstens Winter Gold’ Mugo Pine, is one of the finest of the gold-hued dwarf pines. Short densely arranged needles are an attractive deep green in spring and summer, turning a rich gold tone as cold weather arrives. Colour is most intense in colder climates. It’s an outstanding specimen in smaller gardens, or plant in groupings to make a bold statement in larger landscapes. Great in combination with Japanese Maples, Holly and Switch Grass (Panicum).
Silberlocke Korean Fir
Abies koreana 'Silberlocke'
One of my personal favourites! Silberlocke Korean Fir, or Abies koreana 'Silberlocke' is a smallish conifer with shiny dark green needles that twist to show the silvery white underside. Stately brown conifers grow upwards amongst the foliage for added interest. Very unique looking specimen for the garden. Like most conifers, it prefers full sun and moist, but well drained soil. Fairly slow growing, but can ultimately reach 30ft tall and 20ft wide. Hardy to zones 5-6
Silberschmelze Winter Heather
Erica x darlyensis 'Silberschmelze'
Yup, another 'Silber', this time its one of the most popular white heathers. Erica x darleyensis 'Silberschmelze' is an attractive plant with dark green, almost conifer like foliage and creamy young growths in spring. White bell-shaped flowers are produced in abundance fromearly winter until late spring. Like most heathers, this one like full sun and moist, but well drained acidic soils. Most of our soils are naturally acidic, but if in doubt, mix in some peat moss into your soil or use an acidifying fertilizer like our Garden Pro Azalea / Rhododendron food. Silverschmelze Heather grows to 20 inches in height and up to 28 inches wide. Prune it lightly in spring after the flowers have finished to keep it looking neat and tidy. Hardy in zones 6-8.
As always, call ahead 604.882.1201 to confirm availability of these or any other plants as our selection is always changing.