winter garden

Hello all! I live in the Pacific NW and was wondering if any gardeners around here can recommend some winter plants to bring some cheer to my garden during November through May. Paghats website has been very helpful concerning winter berries, crocuses, and other things. Just wondering if anyone else had some tips! Thanks for your help!
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Hi, could you provide the url for Paghats website? I did a search on it and came up with nothing.
I also live in the Pacific region -- Vancouver, British Columbia, and I'm trying to collect flowering fall and winter plants, like you. I just purchased some frost-hardy "tropicals" which I'm hoping will flower most of the year, along with the fall-flowering crocuses, pansies, some new fall irises and some fall-flowering shrubs, like the Red Prince weigela.
Deborah

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I'm in zone 7 and there are many varieties of decorative grasses that grow well. I have a giant striped grass that is tassling this week that will remain decorative during the winter. Most need sun, easy to grow in Pac NW. Pansies are often planted in fall for winter blooms and I have seen forsythia bloom in January in partly shaded areas. Onions, garlic, parsley, thyme, oregano, sage, lavender are good winter plants. If you have the space, a dwarf pine tree or conifer.
On 27 Aug 2003 17:53:25 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (Deborah) wondered:

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On 27 Aug 2003 17:53:25 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (Deborah) wondered:

Things to consider for winter gardens:
1) Evergreens that look much the same year round. This should perhaps be lower on the list than #1, since the greatest winter plants are the ones that have a uniqueness rather than sameness in winter, but evergreens should also be an important part of the array. This does not just mean shrubs & trees. When selecting ferns, for instance, consider that the swordfern & deerfern & Japanese tassel fern don't need to be sheered back until spring (if then) & are better choices than many other wonderful ferns which however disappear in winter.
2) Deciduous plants with excellent "form" when without leaves. Corkscrew hazel is prettiest in winter (plus it blooms golden catkins in winter). A well-aged climbing hydrangea reveals bright orange furry limb-vines in winter. Weeping deciduous shrubs look fascinating when leafless. Ornamental beech trees & Japanese maples commonly have mottled bark. Shrubs with bark that exfoliate in winter are of particular interest.
3) Decuduous shrubs like Redtwig dogwood or Hishiki willow with twigs that turn bright colors in winter.
4) Winter bloomers like Dawn Viburnum, Witch Hazel, Carnellian cherry, winter honeysuckle (L. fragrantissima), many primulas, hepatica, rhododendron cultivars that bloom in March (Karin Seliger & Milestone for examples), late-winter blooming crocus varieties, kaffir lilies, cyclamens, hellebores, laurustinus, galanthus, & so on. Many shrub salvias when grown in the Northwest bloom all through winter then go dormant in spring, starting over near summer -- such as the salvia cultivar "Santa Barbara."
5) Plants with red, orange, black, violet, or white berries that cling to the branches through winter, including many kinds of cotoneasters, nandina, snowberry, chokeberry, Japanese holly, hawthorns, pernettya, or the black winter berry-like seeds of black mondo grass. Many others. Here's a gallery of some winter berries: http://www.paghat.com/winterberries1.html
6) Evergreens with leaves that turn great colors in winter, like PJM & Stewartstonia rhododendrons, Stransvesia, select varieties of heucheras, bunchberries, Algerian ivy, &c &c.
7) Many perennials though not really active in winter do have some winter presence. Many perennials though dormant in winter nevertheless have evergreen basal leaves, so there's at least a moderate presence, as with many species of penstemons, moth mulleins, millfoil, verbascum, or chinese foxglove. Several kinds of lilies & a few kinds of irises have fully evergreen grassy blades. Garden-hardy fuchsias are evergreen through winter though usually needing clipping way back before new spring growth.
-paghat the ratgirl
--
"Of what are you afraid, my child?" inquired the kindly teacher.
"Oh, sir! The flowers, they are wild," replied the timid creature.
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I think its paghat.com. Her site is wonderful, full of information. Learned a lot there!

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Jessica, here are a few more plants to consider for our region in the winter. I've just purchased these from local nurseries here in British Columbia, so they are definitely suitable for our zone:
GREVILLEA Canberra Gem Bushy, wide, evergreen shrub with narrow, pointed, dark green leaves. Bright pink and red spider-like flowers produced over a long period. A cross between G. juniperina and G. rosmarinifolia. Sun. Flower:Pinky Red; Late Winter - Summer. 2 m (7'). Zone:8
PIERIS japonica FLAMING SILVER (Lily of the Valley Shrub) Striking, variegated leaves with bright red, new foliage edged with pink then turning silver-white. Waxy, bell-like flowers in long hanging clusters. Evergreen. Sun or part-shade. Acid, moist, well-drained soil. Flower: White; Mar-May. 1.2 m (4'). Zone:6
Someone already mentioned Nandina....I happened to purchase one yesterday because it was one of the most beautiful shrubs I've seen. Mine is Nandina domestica "Firepower" -- it's an evergreen shrub with glossy green leaves, leaves which glow red in winter. Right now, it is a multitude of colors along with the pretty green.
I also purchased a gorgeous "Heavenly Bamboo" that looks like a very small tree right now. It has bamboolike stems with delicate lacy leaflets that start pinkish to bronzy red, then turn soft green. It acquires purple to bronze tints in the fall, then turns rich red in early winter. Right now it also has white summer flowers which will be followed by red berries.
Deborah

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Jessica wrote:

There are scores of winter interest plants available for our climate and most good garden centers should carry a wide selection. You might also want to check out some books that address this subject: 'Winter Ornamentals' by Dan Hinkley is an excellent reference; Christopher Lloyd's 'Gardening Year' and Ann Lovejoy's 'The Year In Bloom' are helpful as well. Both Hinkley and Lovejoy are local gardening celebrities and authors.
Some of my favorite winter interest plants are the following: Camellia sasanqua Sarcococca Witch hazels Winterhazel and wintersweet Mahonia x media cultivars Helleborus Rubus calcynoides Wintergreen Epimedium grandiflorum and rubrum (reliably evergreen with winter coloration)
any cotoneaster evergreen grasses and their like, like Carex ssp, mondo grass, Phormiums, etc. red and yellow twig dogwoods Stewartia pseudocamellia (bark) Acer grisseum (bark) winter daphne nearly any dwarf conifer and of course the winter interest offered by assorted herbaceous perennials like ornamental grasses, sedums, coneflowers, etc.
In this mild climate, if one doesn't address planting for winter, you are missing out on a whole bunch of great plant material, year round.
pam - gardengal
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wrote:

for easy-to-grow, lovely winter foliage, i'd add:
Euphorbia characias ssp. Wulfenii Heuchera (lots of great colors available) heaths and heathers
sam z8/pnw
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