January in Carol’s Garden – FineGardening Leave a comment

January may not seem like a very flowery time for most gardeners, but today we’re looking at what was blooming in January in Carol Verhake’s garden in Berwyn, Pennsylvania. Her garden is in Zone 7 according to the new USDA hardiness map, so if you are in a similar climate and lack winter flowers, read on to get some ideas of plants to add to your garden.

Climbing aster (Ampelaster carolinianus, Zones 7–9) is typically a fall-blooming native perennial, but if the temperatures stay mild enough it can keep going quite long into the winter.

Autumn fern (Dryopteris erythrosora ‘Brilliance’, Zones 5–9) is treasured for the bright orange fronds in the spring, but the green fronds look great in a mild winter as well. In colder temperatures the fronds will die back, but in milder climates it will be evergreen.

You can’t celebrate winter bloomers without including a camellia (Camellia japonica, Zones 7–10). These evergreen shrubs bloom from fall to spring depending on the variety and are an essential part of the winter garden for gardens in Zone 7 and warmer.

Ceanothus go by the common name of California lilacs for their beautiful blue flowers, but this one (Ceanothus ‘Lemon Ice’, Zones 6–10) boasts lovely variegated foliage that looks good every day of the year.

Not quite in bloom yet, Chaenomeles speciosa ‘Contorta’ (Zones 4–8) will burst into flower early in the spring, but all winter the twisted branches studded with fat flower buds look wonderful.

Daphniphyllum macropodum (Zones 7–9) is a beautiful evergreen shrub with large glossy leaves set off by their red petioles.

Edgeworthia chrysantha (Zones 7–9) is an early-blooming shrub. The yellow, powerfully fragrant blooms will be open soon, but long before they open, the silvery masses of flower buds are beautiful in their own right.

And of course you can’t go wrong with snowdrops (Galanthus sp., Zones 4–9). Though most of them bloom in early spring, there are species and selections that will bloom starting in the fall and through the winter.

Hamamelis ‘Amethyst’ (Zones 5–8) is a beautiful witch hazel with reddish flower. The long, narrow petals open on warm days and curl up on the colder ones. Witch hazels are one of the best winter-flowering shrubs, even in climates with very cold, snowy winters.

Though each flower on Hamamelis mollis ‘Wisley Supreme’ (Zones 5–8) may be small, the masses together make a bright golden show.

Helleborus niger ‘Josef Lemper’ (Zones 5–9) has bright white flowers in late winter or early spring.

Lindera angustifolia (Zones 6–8) isn’t evergreen. The leaves shift from green to yellow and orange in the fall, but then, instead of dropping off, they fade to this beautiful tan color and stay on the plant all winter.


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