Winter in the Southeastern Garden
In the southeast region, we are fortunate to be able to garden right through the winter. Although many of our favorite plants go dormant just as they do up north, winter's bounty is aplenty. The fallen leaves give way to new vistas that allow us to appreciate hidden treasures…a gnarly vine, papery bark, winter berries. Red-stemmed treasures like Pucker Up™ Red Twig Dogwood add a touch of warmth to the winter gardens. And I love the red berries that grace our hollies, such as Berry Heavy® Winterberry Holly. At the same time, we are still enjoying blooms upon the Flying Colors™ Trailing Antique Rose Diascia in the kitchen windowbox as well as the indomitable Diamond Frost® Euphorbia in the pot by the kitchen door. Lucky us!
As a vegetable gardener, I look forward to this time of year, as the plants that thrive during this season are some of my favorites. Snow peas wind their way up the tomato cages, and the garlic begins its slow ascent towards the sun. In shades from deep burgundy to chartreuse, gorgeous lettuces are a welcome sight, both in the garden and on the table. Scallions from young onions and shallots punch up stir fry dishes and salads. Lacinato kale, with its long, deep green leaves and Russian Red kale provide interest and beauty in the garden as well as making nourishing soups and stews. A light freeze sweetens the collards and kale and deepens their color. And it wouldn't be a winter garden without a crop of collards, fresh from the garden and simmered with a smoked ham hock, to soothe the soul and nourish the body. Our gazebo, which is nestled in the center of the vegetable beds, is graced with pots of waving grasses like Graceful Grasses® Red Riding Hood. They give motion and color to the more subdued beauty of the winter garden.
The winter months give all gardeners a little extra time to reflect on what changes we may want to make in the garden come spring. It's always a pleasure to curl up with a cup of tea and a selection of garden books and catalogs to inspire. Now is the time to get your free copy of the Proven Winners Gardener's Idea Book. I am using it, along with all the fabulous garden design tools on the Proven Winners website, to design my new cottage border garden and containers. I'm dreaming about Oso Easy® roses, drifts of Supertunia® Vista Bubblegum petunia, and carefree ColorBlaze® Alligator Tears™ coleus in areas where the garden gets a bit of afternoon shade. It is hard not to get carried away by the wonderful selection of plants that are available. Check in with me next month, when I visit my favorite local garden center to plan a Proven Winners® cottage border garden.
The winter garden is a fine thing in the south. What do you enjoy about your garden in the wintertime?
© Proven Winners, LLC.