As February begins, many people begin to experience a common malady called 'Gardenus addictus'. This somewhat uncommon condition afflicts more people than you would otherwise assume. Subtle symptoms begin to manifest as visits to gardening websites, hours spent pouring over seed catalogs and wandering aimlessly around empty garden beds. More extreme symptoms lead to days spent on Pinterest, visits to local garden centres in the pouring rain, seemingly random plunging of hands into cold, muddy soil, caressing weeds, and even performing tool maintenance on tools you cleaned last week. In order to provide some relief, we've taken the time to put together a small list of plants that will add interest to otherwise desolate gardens and landscapes. Enjoy!
Rubinetta Japanese Skimmia
Skimmia japonica ‘Rubinetta’
This lovely evergreen shrub is a small to medium sized plant ideal for shade and part shade. Showy red winter flower buds open to small white flowers in early spring. Has a nice light fragrance. Male variety. Plant female skimmia nearby to produce striking red berries on those plants. Grows 2-3ft in height and spread.
Midwinter Fire Shrub Dogwood
Cornus sericea ‘Midwinter Fire’
Midwinter Fire is a striking shrub dogwood variety that produces clusters of white flowers in late spring and early summer followed by blue-black fruit. Darker green leaves turn yellow in winter before they fall. In winter the bare stems turn brilliant shades of orange, red and white. Best in full sun and moist , but well drained soils. Grows up to 8-10ft tall. Prune frequently to improve and manage shape. Extremely hardy to zone 2.
Double Play Winter Heather
Double Play is a lovely landscape plant that combines two varieties of winter heather in one pot. Blooms in winter through early spring in shades of lovely pink and striking white. Plant in groups for instant winter interest. Plant heathers in full sun and moist, but well drained acidic soils. Improve the acidity of your soil with peat, pine needles or with garden amendments.
Fragrant Sweetbox (Sarcococca)
Sweetbox is another gorgeous, yet underused, evergreen shrub for shady locations. Upright growth habit and medium to dark green foliage is accented by masses of late winter blooming, delicate white, star-shaped flowers. Amazing fragrance will waft to fill the entire planting area. Red berries follow the blooms. An elegant addition to the garden border and can also be used as a hedge. Plant it somewhere you can enjoy the fragrance in winter. For example, near the front door, patio or along a frequently used walkway.
Hamamelis x intermedia
One of our favourite deciduous small trees or large shrubs is the Witchhazel. They bloom in late winter producing masses of crinkled, paperty, spidery looking flowers in shades of yellow, orange and red depending on the variety. Shown at the top of the article is a relatively new variety called ‘Angelly’. Other more common varieties are shown immediately above . Witchhazels carry rippled green leaves that also offer nice autumn colour before they fall. Grow in sun to part shade. Great vase shape and small size makes it ideal for even smaller homes and landscapes.
This early blooming scrambling vine is a reliable and tough as nails plant ideal for adding vertical interest. Long, thin, arching green, cord-like stems with small leaves should be trained on trellises, arbors or fances. Bright yellow blooms in late winter. Grow in sun to part shade. Unlike other Jasmines it has no fragrance, but does add a lot of colour to otherwise drab winter gardens.
If you are interested in any of these wonderful plants, drop by and visit us at Art's Nursery or give us a call at 604.882.1201. As always, check ahead to confirm availability as our selection is always changing.