November 30, 2015
November 30, 2015
Hardy perennials and flowering evergreens are a great addition because they return every year, some of the best flowering perennials/evergreens for winter in north Georgia include Camellias, mahonias, winter jasmine and witch hazels. More than 3,000 named kinds of camellias exist, in a remarkable range of colors, forms, and sizes; they are not browsed by deer. Winter jasmine’s yellow flowers contrast with its blue green stems. The shrub’s arching habit makes it great for planting on banks and to cascade over walls. Witch hazels have a clean, spicy scent uniquely their own. Witch hazel is popular for their clusters of rich yellow to orange-red flowers which begin to expand in the autumn as or slightly before the leaves fall, and continue throughout the winter. Mahonias have a lovely scent too and make an excellent cut flower. Winter honeysuckle is sometimes called “sweet-breath-of-spring” even though it doesn’t bloom until December. The shrub’s creamy, small flowers are not showy, but their fragrance will let you know it is nearby long before it is in sight. Winter Jasmine is a wonderful plant that blooms insanely in winter and grows easily.
Evergreens don’t just provide deep green to the landscape. “Evergreens” can provide blues, yellows and many shades of green. Some take on a bronze cast in the winter. Some junipers become tinged with purple.
Winter-blooming trees such as Wintersweet is a large shrub or small tree with pale yellow flowers and a fragrance described as a mix of bananas, vanilla and spices. The winter-flowering cherry blooms sporadically all winter, depending on the weather, with the peak of flowering in March or April It is one of the best cherries to cut for winter forcing because of the light dormancy of the flowers. Another winter-flowering tree is the Japanese flowering apricot. You are just as likely to hear it called by its botanical name Prunus mume (pronounced PROO-nus MYOO-may) than its common name, however. Its flowers can be white, pink or rose and are sweetly fragrant. Color can come from stems and bark of plants as well. Consider red or yellow-twig dogwoods or the coral-bark or sango-kaku maple. The bark of ‘Natchez’ crepe myrtle is smeared in cinnamon. While not colorful, the curvy/spiral stems of the contorted filbert are especially interesting after it sheds its leaves in the fall.
Flowers are definitely another easy way to contribute to color in the winter garden. Shades of orange, red, gray, yellow, white, purple and blue can be found in the fruits of many plants and petals of many annuals. Pansies, violas, and dianthus varieties flower right through the grayest winter days. Ornamental kale and cabbage varieties add various textures. Hollies, wax myrtle, nandina, aronia, viburnums, flowering dogwood and beautyberry are a few plants whose fruits add color to the winter garden. They also attract birds, which also bring color, song and liveliness to the garden in any season, but on gloomy winter days they can be especially cheering.
To keep your beds and turf looking its best there are numerous herbicides that may be used to control winter annual weeds. Options include the use of preemergence herbicides in the late summer or early fall prior to winter annual weed germination or the use of postemergence herbicides on an as needed basis.