Winter time is the perfect time to plan for the garden. Have you ever thought about plants that would be best for creating winter interest? These plants provide beautiful winter interest through exfoliating bark, unique foliage, and interesting berries, fruits, and even cones. In this episode, I am chatting with Dr. Win Dunwell, University of Kentucky Extension Horticulture Specialist who’s area of specialization is Nursery and Landscape. In our chat, he recommends several winter hardy plants that would make ideal candidates for providing winter interest in Kentucky’s garden and landscape. To listen to the full episode, stay with me right here on the Sunshine Gardening Podcast!
Plants with Winter Features:
Ilex species Winter Red Ilex verticillate- still one of the best
Aronia arbutifolia Brilliantissima
Hammamelis virginiana Sunglow
Pinus densiflora ‘Oculus Draconis’ / Dragon’s Eye Japanese red pine.
Remontant azaleas – Autumn Royalty
Tulip tree the left over seeds heads after seed has blown away look like little candelabras can be cut for table settings
Edgeworthia chrysantia zone 7 blooms over long period white creamy fragrant blooms on bare coarse stems.
Barks – lighting trunks
Persimmon bark dark blocks Host plant to Luna Moth
Sycamore London Plane tree cultivars look great in the winter back yard with trunk lighting
Leave perennials and grasses foliage and seed heads
Rhodea japonica green leaves and fruit (later than Jack in the pulpit or Green Dragon)
Hellebores I have SunShine Selections from Barry Glick’s Sunshine Farm and Gardens in West VA
Yucca Color Guard
Lycoris radiata foliage
Arbovitaes turn brown but Eastern Red Cedar cultivars like Greenpoint and Taylor along with Juniperus chinesis Trautman
Rose Hips Rosa rugosa, Carefree series, even Knockouts
Tips for hips:
Select roses with single, semi-double, or otherwise cupped-bloom form.
Stop pruning around September 1st.
Provide adequate irrigation with good drainage.
Encourage pollinators, like bees and other insects, to visit your roses by creating a naturalized edge or hedgerow.
Allow blossoms to fade and fall off of the plant naturally.
Uses for hips:
Clip single or clusters of rose hips and use in floral arrangements, wreaths, and holiday garland.
Wash, remove stems and coarsely chop for use in recipes to make jams, jellies, juices, and more. (Never use rose petals or hips sprayed with chemicals in any food product.)
Walk in the woods the leaves of spring flowering native orchids are showy on the brown leaves of the trees leaves especially the one with green top and purple underside to the leaf, Tipularia discolor, Cranefly orchid, Aplectrum hyemale, Putty-root. The leaves are more showy than the flower stalks. Once you have seen the leaves and flowers you will find them very common to the area where they occur.
Cornus mas and C. officinales bloom Feb-March
I hope that you enjoyed our discussion today over Creating Winter Interest in the Garden! To view the show notes for Episode 14, make sure to visit me on the blog at Warren County Agriculture.
A big thank you to Dr. Win Dunwell for being our guest!
Thanks for listening to the Sunshine Gardening Podcast!
Gardeners keep digging into gardening and remember to add a little sunshine!