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The Winter Garden

COLD WEATHER MUST-HAVES

Ah, the holidays... the season of hot chocolate, cozy sweaters and all that glitters. As you're busy trimming trees and wrapping packages, don't forget about these easy to care for plants that will keep your winter garden in full bloom. Just because that warm weather has faded away, doesn't mean the color in your landscape has to. Try some of our favorite plants that love cool weather, in fact, they thrive in it... making garden-lovers all over Hampton Roads very, very happy!

Hellebore, sometimes called the Lenten Rose or Christmas Rose, put on an especially great show during the winter months. This hardy perennial comes in a variety of colors. We especially love the Hellebore Jacob variety with its white to light-rose colored flowers that mirror the colors of Christmas. These perennials look fantastic in pots and sprinkled throughout your flower beds.

Yuletide Camellia is a beloved southern staple with plentiful blooms. Often times, the bloom season coincides with the cool holiday season. The flowers are dark red with a bright yellow center contrasted against dark glossy green foliage. You can't go wrong with this easy-to-care for evergreen that will deliver year-round beauty. While these shrubs look great in the landscape, you can start them out in containers. Pot one up with cool weather annuals like Pansies and Dusty Miller for a perfect Christmas accent. Be sure to remember that you can cut the blooms to use throughout your house for fresh d├ęcor. Try floating the flowers in water during your holiday gatherings this year.

Pansies are a cool weather must-have, an absolute staple of the fall and winter garden. It will keep performing all through the season and add a burst of color when you need it most. Best of all, these tough little beauties are available in a huge range of colors. Try pairing these annuals with Dusty Miller or trailing Vinca Vine with red and white pansies for a festive container.

Violas are the petite cousins of the pansy and are tougher in the face of cold and heat. No local garden should be without them. The smaller flower will bloom all through the winter. Because they are low growing plants, they are an excellent choice as flower bed borders. They are also perfect in seasonal pots and window boxes.