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Gardening and Landscaping by PRWeb

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Winter Accent Plants

Winter flowers in the southeastern US have traditionally been pansies but in the past few years some exciting new-comers have entered the market. "Proven Winners" has come out with a series called 'Fall Magic' that has some true winners in it. I have been experimenting with these in my own yard for a few years and have a few favorites of my own. My top 4 from this series are Goldilocks, Lavender Cotton, Purple Petticoats and Ogon Grass. Each of these adds a little something different to you containers and/or garden.

Goldilocks (Lysimachia Nummularia) is a beautiful yellow cascading plant that works wonderfully in window boxes and hanging baskets. This plant's growth pattern is very similar to hardy English Ivy. Lavender Cotton (Santolina Chamaecyparissus) will add a wonderful texture to any garden with it's fuzzy grey-green foliage. Ogon Grass (Acorus Gramineus) is a beautiful clumping green and yellow striped grass that will add a little bit of height and color to your plantings. Purple Petticoats (Heuchera Hybrid) is a short plant with exquisite little purple leaves very similar to those of a maple tree. Each of the four does very well in our southern winter climate and make a nice addition to any garden. However, the 'Fall Magic' series is not your only option.
A growing new trend is the use of winter snapdragons. These plants usually grow to about 2 feet and bloom in the late fall (Oct-Nov). Snapdragons come in all shades of pink, yellow, white, lavender, and red. Once the flowers die the plant will stay green through the worst of our winter months and began to bloom again in the early spring (late Feb-March). My favorite variety is 'Liberty' which seems to stand up to rust better than some other varieties.
Another choice is the Ornamental Cabbage or Ornamental Kale. These plants come in pink, white and red. While they grow to the same height and width as the edible variety, these are decorative only! The cooler the weather, the more vibrant their colors will become. Cabbage and kale plants not only have a great foliage to add texture but they, like the snapdragon and lavender cotton, will bloom in the spring.

These are, by no means, all of your options for a winter garden. Next time you're shopping for pansies at your local garden center, pause a moment and look around. You might be surprised at all the options available to you!