I’m a sucker for variegated foliage, so much so that I need to stop myself from adding more fancy patterned leaves to the garden to avoid creating a muddled mess. One of my current favourites is a rex begonia (Begonia rex).
Having a few small pots of flowering plants in the house is a mood brightener. Cheerful primroses (Primula vulgaris), readily available at most grocery stores and florists at this time of year, are an inexpensive treat. They may not bloom as long as other flowering plants indoors, but they can be saved and planted out in the garden later in spring.
As winter drags on, older gardening books can be inspirational and offer a valuable link to our gardening past, such as one of Canada’s early gardening books, Canadian Wild Flowers, written by Catharine Parr Traill and illustrated by her niece Agnes Dunbar FitzGibbon.
Richly fragrant winter daphne (Daphne mezereum) are native to China and Japan with clusters of small lilac or white flowers. They make a wonderful specimen plant (meaning just one will make an impact) next to a path or near the front door where their scent can be appreciated.
Evergreen and coniferous trees and shrubs are the most noticeable in the winter garden, especially if snow has fallen. Those solid silhouettes contrast with the open forms of the maples, oaks, dogwoods, hydrangeas and other woody plants in the garden.
Spending a few hours browsing online seed and plant catalogues while it snows outside has got to be one of the most pleasant ways to pass a January afternoon.
Poinsettias are ubiquitous at this time of year. Poinsettias are easy to care for and come in a variety of colours from vivid scarlet to creamy ivory and every shade in between.
Our local florist is displaying pots of luscious cyclamen in all kinds of rosy shades, along with a few specimens of Christmas cactus.
It’s time to bid farewell to our displays of mums and ornamental cabbages and think about designing winter containers. Whether you cut boughs and branches from your own garden or buy them at the local nursery, here are a few design ideas and practical considerations to keep in mind.
It’s a melancholy time in the garden. As we stand admiring the glowing amber and russet leaves while congratulating ourselves for planting new bulbs for next spring, we know winter weather is merely weeks away. Here are a few tasks to keep you outdoors in these last few golden days, most of which focus on putting those beautiful autumn leaves to good use.
As October ends, if you also grow roses, you might want to check out the recommendations in “Putting Roses to Bed.” Judith Adam describes a rose’s journey to dormancy and ways to help them survey a cold winter.
Just when you think there’s nothing else left to bloom, the dramatic rich blue spires of monkshood fill your view. That is, if you had the foresight to plant this reliable Zone 3 perennial in your garden.
In Canada, at some point you’ll have a killing frost. That’s your signal to dig up and store your dahlia tubers so you have plump, healthy tubers to replant next spring.
It’s Thanksgiving weekend and you may be busy stuffing a turkey, but if you do find time to enjoy your garden (and the weather cooperates), here are a few tasks Judith Adam would like you to consider. It’s always satisfying to get a head start on next year’s garden.
Fall is the best time to move peonies if they needed to be moved. When planting new peonies, choose your site wisely because these are perennials that prefer to settle in and not be disturbed.
This year, I’m determined not to wait until the coldest, windiest, wettest day to plant my bulbs. I’m an expert at bulb planting procrastination, and sometimes it’s closer to Christmas than Thanksgiving when the last bulb is tucked in. To keep me motivated, I’m reviewing these “Bulb planting tips.”
A few weeks ago, I harvested more than two dozen heads of garlic. I set aside eight of the largest heads to separate into individual cloves to plant in a few weeks — usually late October in my Zone 5 garden. This satisfying ritual has been on repeat for at least five years now.
Among late-blooming perennials, if you’re looking for something interesting to try, consider turtlehead (Chelone obliqua). I’ve grown the common purple variety for at least a dozen years in heavy clay and semi-shade.
The pale buds of colchicum flowers will soon be pushing their way through the detritus of fallen leaves. These hardy bulbs play hide and seek as their strappy leaves emerge in spring and then disappear and lie low until early fall when their large cupped pink, white or purple flowers burst forth.
The aim of many flower gardeners is to have something in bloom from the cool days of early spring to the shortening days of early fall. Now that we’re in the last days of August, two bold perennials are hitting their stride: Joe Pye weed and rose mallow.