We tend to regard winter as a season devoid of life and certainly without flowers. But you know you don't have to live in southern California or Florida or even in the greenhouse to enjoy flowers in winter.
Winter will officially be over next week according the calendar with the arrival of the first day of spring, but I thought it might be fun to look back across the season at a few flowers that dare to bloom in the cold, like this delicate little winter iris called iris reticulata. And then there's the crocus that will come up and flower through the snow and of course depending on where you live you can even enjoy some of the early daffodils. Then one couldn't forget the hellebore, or Lenten Rose as it's called, because of its flowering at Lent.
Shrubs are a particular favorite of mine and there are several varieties that will actually defy the cold winds. This one for instance is called Winter jasmine appropriately named don't you think' It's often confused with forsythia because of these little golden flowers but this actually blooms much earlier.
This is winter honeysuckle. It's one of my all-time favorite shrubs. It's very old-fashioned and the plant covers itself with these tiny little cream colored blossoms. Now don't be deceived by their size, because each one is packed with fragrance. While few are as aromatic as this there are others that will brighten a winter day like quince, witch hazels, and camellias.
Next time we will take a look at how to take limbs from these and others to bring inside and force to bloom.
From the garden, I'm Allen Smith.
P. Allen Smith Gardens
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