Monrovia Plant Savvy
design, inspiration and practical ideas from the plant experts. January 2013
Beauty in the winter landscape

Dear Savvy Gardener,


 

Just because it's winter, doesn't mean your garden isn’t worthy of attention. Take a few minutes to appreciate the structure of a bare tree, interesting bark or how the snow settles on it. Marvel at your Conifers — so easy to grow and they offer fantastic shapes and vibrant color year round. Most Conifers are evergreen, and can light up a winter garden with green, blue, yellow, rose or silver.

Those in warmer regions love the burst of color from Camellias in the winter garden. While Japanese varieties (Camellia japonica) are more common, most don’t bloom until early spring. So, consider sasanqua Camellias for winter color. These prolific bloomers will flower much earlier and you’ll enjoy plenty of blossoms from fall through winter. Plus, sasanquas will tolerate a bit more sun than other varieties and many have a lovely scent. Camellias make great cut flowers, too. Just float the blooms in a low vase or bowl filled with water for an easy, elegant look.

  Charming Fantasy™ Snowberry
New for 2013 is Huber's Tawny Gold Spreading Yew, a dense, spreading shrub with attractive burnished-gold needles. This will create a stunning hedge, screen or border, providing a pop of color in the winter garden.
Blueberries and More
  Well's Weeper Spruce
Well's Weeper Spruce
leafgif   easy-care conifers

Conifers are shrubs and trees that bear cones. They come in an array of sizes, are easy-care and, once established, are quite drought tolerant. However, unlike broadleaf plants, conifers don't droop or show distress when they need extra water. So, be sure to regularly deep water your conifers the first year or two to get them off to a healthy start, and water a bit during long hot and dry periods. Below are some suggested varieties from our conifer experts.


 
  Fire Chief™ Globe Arborvitae
Fire Chief™ Globe Arborvitae
leafgif   conifers for winter razzle-dazzle

For dramatic foliage color, our new Fire Chief™ Globe Arborvitae is gold in the spring, evolving to deep red in the fall. Its natural globe shape needs no pruning and will add year-round color and texture to your garden. Fuzzball™ Siberian Carpet has bright green, fuzzy spring foliage that turns purple-brown in the winter. It’s vase-shaped habit is ever so cute!


 
  Blues Blue Spruce
The Blues Blue Spruce
leafgif   evergreen and everblue

Blue Shag Eastern White Pine is as soft and fluffy as a puppy! This easy-care conifer has a dwarf, dense habit with short, soft, blue green needles. Looks great in a rock garden. The Blues Blue Spruce is fascinating, in both color and shape. It's weeping shape and irregular branching make it look like something in a Dr. Seuss book! This can be a striking focal point in the garden all year. For a similar blue color, but with a tidy, upright habit is the Iseli Fastigiate Spruce, reaching 40 feet at maturity.


 
  Profusion Beautyberry
Marge Miller™ Camellia
leafgif   easy to grow, easy to love

Camellias are a fantastic, easy-care evergreen shrub. They don't require much pruning and their dark green, glossy foliage looks great all year round. Marge Miller™ is the first prostrate Camellia in the world, making it ideal as a groundcover, spilling over walls or even from a hanging basket. Full, soft-pink flowers appear in fall along the stems against the deep-green, glossy foliage.

 
  Pink-A-Boo Camellia
Pink-A-Boo® Camellia
leafgif   a bounty of blooms

Yuletide, everyone's favorite holiday Camellia, has intense fiery red single blooms with bright yellow stamens. New Pink-A-Boo® is a sport from Yuletide and its large pink blooms are delightfully fragrant. Nuccio's Bella Rossa is a japonica variety that starts blooming in late winter and continues through spring with four-inch, crimson-red, formal blooms.

 
  Apple Blossom Camellia
Apple Blossom Camellia
leafgif   reds, pinks and creamy whites

Chansonette is a favorite, with its brilliant magenta pink formal double flowers. Setsugekka has large creamy white flowers with ruffled edges. The semi-double white blooms of White Dove make great cut flowers. You could create a fabulous flowering hedge with Apple Blossom, which has a nice dense habit and is a prolific bloomer. Its flowers are edged in pink and have golden yellow stamens. The lightly fragrant Kanjiro has stunning cerise-pink, semi-double blossoms that are edged in red.