A Few Winter Gardening Tips…

by susan on January 15, 2013

Here is a gardening tip for your winter gardens although you are probably not anywhere near your outdoor plants these days, even if you do live on the West Coast…. ( but, I have to admit, we just got our first taste of real winter today, as it continued to snow for the whole day! ) Any plants that are under your house eaves or overhang, or on a covered porch area, do need to be given some extra care by way of watering. And so, if you do get a bit of a break in the temperature, and it goes above freezing, just take that opportunity to water those plants.
Here, on the West Coast, we have had so much rain that most people would not even think about watering!!!! but it is something to consider, as the roots of the evergreens especially, do need to have plenty of moisture. Evergreen shrubs can become dried out quickly when the cold winter winds begin to blow. Those winds can strip out the moisture so quickly that you might really need to give these plants a bit of special attention. And, if they have just been planted this past year, and have not, as yet, gone through a winter season, then they could be particularly vulnerable. Of course, I am assuming that you have provided your plants with excellent drainage, otherwise too much water collecting near their roots can be every bit as bad as not enough water!! It is a bit of a balancing act, to be sure. Below, you see two of my winter planters that are underneath an overhang. They definitely do need to be watered whenever the temperature goes above freezing. This is mainly a gardening tip for beginners. It is really just Gardening 101!!

Winter planter with Bergenia and Skimmia plants and cut boughs.


Lime green and red Christmas colours.


Two of my smaller planters that were on the front steps had become a bit dry and so, I carried them into the garage where they could warm up just enough so that the soil would thaw a bit and then I was able to give them a drink.  Larger planters do not need quite as much ‘fussing’ as these smaller ones, but these had become a little dry and so needed my help. I had put some beautiful Hellebores in them and so they certainly were worth saving.
Another winter gardening tip is that if you had done up some Christmas or winter planters earlier, with boughs, etc., they will keep looking good until spring if you keep the soil moist, when it is not freezing. And, again, as soon as it begins to warm up, keep the soil moist and they will be just fine. I have had mine go from November right through until April, and in fact, as you can see, below, these Hellebores continued to bloom for several months. These pink ones are Helleborus ‘Rosemary’, perhaps the longest to bloom.

One of the very best.....H. 'Rosemary'


Close-up of Hellebore 'Rosemary'

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