What kind of plants can I use for winter projects?

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What kind of plants can I use for winter projects?
« on: November 26, 2007, 03:13:05 AM »
...here in the Northeastern United States? Connecticut to be exact.

Re: What kind of plants can I use for winter projects?
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2007, 09:43:51 AM »
Depends on what you want to spend, Sean, but there are many plants to choose from.

If you're going cheap and cheerful, you can use a mixture of Primulas and pansies. They're both colourful will last a while.

For perennials, Bergenias are good; they will flower in late winter and some have foliage that turns red in winter. Helleborus orientalis and Helleborus x hybridus flower in winter with a pretty range of colours, from white through pink to dark purple.

For bulbs, you can use Iris reticulata, snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis), the common purple Crocus (yellow ones tend to get ripped up by sparrows). Cyclamen coum is another good one, being low growing with delicate pink flowers. Most of the flowers above will provide some nectar and pollen for any insects that wake up in warm spells.

Grasses, especially Carex, are useful for winter colour and texture. Carex testacea has arching foliage in shades of copper. It will self seed as well and also provides seed for birds.

If you want to spend more, then there are a number of shrubs that flower in winter: Viburnum tinus, Mahonia x media, Sarcococca confusa (sweet box), Witch hazel (Hamamelis mollis), winter heather (Erica carnea), winter honeysuckle (Lonicera x purpusii) and Daphne odora. Many winter flowering shrubs have small flowers, but they are often strongly scented.

There, that should start you off... ;)

Re: What kind of plants can I use for winter projects?
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2007, 12:56:24 AM »
Wow, that's useful stuff.  Someone just gave me a winter honeysuckle (Lonicera x purpusii) and if you'll excuse it's stragglyness I would recommend it to all.  The scent just knocks people away, and at such a surprising time of the year.