3cb324a36a23ca01113f4ff0f7d4ce2a

Southern winters are short, and have plenty of camellias in bloom to delight gardeners all through the season.

Camellias though are not the only shrubs that bloom in the cool months, and many of the older classic shrubs, for various reasons are overlooked.

winter_honeysuckle.jpgWinter Honeysuckle
One of my favorite winter blooming shrubs is winter honeysuckle (Lonicera fragrantissima). Native to China, this shrub became popular in the early part of the 20th century and was commonly found in old southern homesteads. The main attraction of the honeysuckle is the time of bloom and the fragrance, which as the name implies, is intensely fragrant. Alas, if you are looking for an appealing focal point for your garden, this one is not going to be on the list. Like most honeysuckles it has medium green leaves, which are generally held throughout winter, but the flowers are small and white, rather than the rambunctious reds are yellows of the invasive vine varieties. The good news is that winter honeysuckle is not as invasive as the more common vine, although there may be places where this can happen. 

Although it is not a star of the garden, winter honeysuckle does make a graceful backdrop along a woodland path of the edge of a shrub border. It reaches about ten to twelve feet in height and can congregate to quite a large stand. Like many shrubs, it can be thinned regularly, and even chopped to the ground, when it will still sprout new stems for next year. It will take most sunny conditions, as well as part shade, and survives as far north as zone 4.

For a great midwinter project try picking a few branches, a forced them into bloom like forsythia by bringing them inside and placing into a bucket of tepid water. It will brighten up your winter home, very quickly. 

lorepetumulum.jpgNative Lorepetalum (Loropetalum chinense)
When I found this shrub, I was totally mystified. We have a hedge of it and my first thought was to chop it down thinking it was some sort of rampant privet. Fortunately, I didn’t have time to chop more than one before it bloomed. This gave it life again, but it went unidentified until this past spring when I was at Athens, GA, for a conference, and it was in bloom. I wondered if they had it mislabeled because nowhere had I ever seen lorepetulum in anything but red leaf and pink bloom. Nothing like the evergreen leaf and white bloom I was seeing. Indeed they were correct. Although it is referred to as native, according to Dirr, it is native to China.  

Unfortunately in searching through the internet you will probably not see this version, as it has been totally forgotten in the trade in favor of the pinks. This is rather sad because it makes a wonderful hedge and is covered with white flowers each Easter that last for several weeks.  

So here are my two Cinderella shrubs for the winter garden – they are not as flamboyant as their modern sisters, but for good solid shrubs that survive with no care in drought smitten Georgia, they cannot be beaten.

kateavatar3.jpgKate is a gardener, a garden writer and a garden educator living in Atlanta, Georgia. She has written for national magazines and local newspapers, plus hosts a weekly radio show. You can visit here website at www.katecopsey.com, her blog at www.katesgardenjournal.com , or drop her a message at her profile page on theMulch.com.


Plant Care Reminders

Black Mulberry Monthly Plant Care
Edibles Steve Brigham

Mulberry - Black (Morus nigra) - Monthly Plant Care Calendar

You can have these monthly Plant Care Reminders sent directly to you each month!
Default Image
Shrubs Julie Bawden-Davis

Grevillea - Mountain (Grevillea alpina) - Monthly Plant Care Calendar

You can have these monthly Plant Care Reminders sent directly to you each month!

Iris douglasiana - (Douglas Iris) -…

7183 Julie Bawden-Davis
Douglas Iris
You can have these monthly Plant Care Reminders sent directly to you each month!

Betula spp. (Birch) - Monthly Plant…

2952 Steve Brigham
Birch Monthly Plant Care
You can have these monthly Plant Care Reminders sent directly to you each month!

Clarkia unguiculata (Elegant Clarkia) -…

10008 Coastal Sage Gardening
Elegant Clarkia
You can have these monthly Plant Care Reminders sent directly to you each month!

Gardening Articles

Basketboy Tomato
Container Gardening Chris Eirschele

Tomato Plant Varieties for Container Growing

Each year more and more varieties of tomato plants appear, enabling container gardeners to grow tomatoes in their own garden.
Killing a Lawn
Projects Ron Vanderhoff

How to kill a lawn

The lawn that just won’t die! Surprisingly perhaps, that’s exactly the fear that many people have when contemplating switching their lawn to something else.

Peruvian Lilies for Container Gardens

34394
Alstroemeria 'Oxana'
Gardeners whose plants grow in containers but want to add cutting flowers to small spaces…

Jim Threadgill - Southwest

21989
Region: Southwest

Flower Seed Planting time for coastal southern California

17153
Delphinium
Walter Andersen was kind enough to let us publish this seed planting chart from his…

Plant Recommendations

Anna Apples
Plant Recommendations Richard Frost

European Fruit Trees - Southern California

Richard Frost's Top Plant Recommendation: Favorite European Fruit Trees for Southern California.
Euphorbia cooperi
Plant Recommendations JANET WANERKA

Cacti & Succulents - Southern California

Janet Wanerka's Top Plant Recommendations: Favorite Cacti & Succulents for Southern California.

Container Plants - Southern California

10880 Christiane Holmquist
Nerium
Christiane Holmquist's Top Plant Recommendation: Favorite Container Plants For Southern…

The Grand Old Dames of the South

3636 Kate Copsey
Tea Olive
Each fall, northern gardeners start talking about putting their gardens to bed for the…

Trees for Small Landscapes - Northeast

10217 CL Fornari
C.L. Fornari
C.L. Fornari's Top Plant Recommendation: Favorite Trees for Small Landscapes for the…

Featured Plant Care

Douglas Iris

Iris douglasiana - (Douglas Iris) - Monthly Plant Care Calendar

You can have these monthly Plant Care Reminders sent directly to you each month!
Potatoes Monthly Plant Care

Potato (Solanum tuberosum) - Monthly Plant Care Calendar

in Edibles
You can have these monthly Plant Care Reminders sent directly to you each month!

Latest Articles

Edit Your Tagged Photos!

How to Edit or Remove A Plant "Tag" In Your Garden Photos

Instead of 'Tagging' your friends on Facebook, now you can 'Tag' your Plants in your…
Seed Starting

10 Easy Cut Flowers to Direct Sow

in Seeds
A cut-flower garden or "cutting garden" allows you to bring the beauty of your garden…

Popular Articles

Baseball Field Maintenance

Baseball Field Maintenance - A General Guide for Fields of All Levels

in Lawn
More great baseball field resources can be found here (including a pdf version of this…
Queen Palm Care & Use

The Queen Palm (Syagrus romanzoffiana) Care & Use

in Trees
Jungle Music Palms and Cycads is a family owned and operated business established in 1977
Microgreens

What are Microgreens and How to Grow Them

in Edibles
Microgreens are tiny leafed vegetables that are grown from seed and require very little…
Kahili Ginger Plant Care

Hedychium gardnerianum (Kahili Ginger) - Monthly Plant Care Calendar

You can have these monthly Plant Care Reminders sent directly to you each month!

User Guides (Slide)

Popular Recommendations (Slide)