Got Winter Blooms
How does your garden look after frost? Does it need a shot of color and some evergreen foliage? Have you Got Winter Blooms? Let me introduce you to two darlings of the Winter garden: Lenten Rose (Helleborus) and Winters Rose (Camellia). They both bloom during the colder winter months and are evergreen… What’s not to love?
Lenten Rose is a perennial plant that has long been favored for the shade garden. The course textured, leathery leaves form a large mass growing 18” tall by 18” wide. Grouped in the shade garden they provide form and structure all winter long.
There are many hybrids available with flower colors that range from pure white, cream, and pink to wine red. Some varieties such as “Jacob” begin blooming as early as December and continue through Feb. Several varieties bloom Jan.-March and these include the following: Cinnamon Snow, Snow Fever, Winterbells, and Maestro. Blooming in Feb.- April are the better known Helleborus orientalis varieties with newer introductions such as Ivory Prince and Honeymoon Series Mix.
All Lenten Rose are deer resistant, fairly drought tolerant once established, and very low maintenance. You only have to trim off the older leaves in late winter as the new growth leaps from the center of the plant. With so many different bloom times and colors, planting several types should give your shade garden color all winter. Mix some in with your woodland wildflowers or in front of azaleas for a layered effect. Here at Willow Ridge Garden Center ,we also use them to add excitement to winter containers.
Our second favorite winter bloomer is a part shade evergreen shrub called Camellia. Any good Southern garden should have at least one! Camellias bloom from Fall to Spring, again depending on the type.
Fall bloomers start in mid October and may finish around Christmas. Our favorite red blooming Fall Camellia is called Yuletide. Other noteworthy Fall Bloomers come in white and pink. The flower shapes may vary from open form that reveals her yellow stamens in the center to multi-petaled varieties that look like small peonies or anemones.
Spring blooming Camellias begin in Feb. and bloom until April. But wait, there’s more! The foliage is dark glossy green which makes the perfect foundation plant. Camellias look great as a single specimen or in mass. Plant where you can enjoy them through a window.
We love to help people add more color to their garden and show them that it really can look good in all seasons. For this reason we are thrilled to introduce the newest varieties of both Lenten Rose and Camilla to the Knoxville, Tenn. area. We have found that they also make great gift plants for the gardener on your list. Got winter blooms? Plant these two winter darlings.