Weirdly Warm Winter Weather
Happy New Year and welcome to a new gardening year. I just spent two weeks in North Carolina spending time with a very active four year old while her baby brother was on his way. Between hide and go seek and chase, we found time to forage for an arrangement. You can find cool stuff at any time of the year in the South – seed pods, foliage, berries, and an occasional flower such as this Camellia blossom.
Arriving home the day after Christmas and after spending an entire day and night sleeping, I headed for the garden. Due to the exceptional warm weather over the holidays, I still have summer flowers blooming like this Ageratum. I grew this from seed and hopefully it will reseed and spread again next summer. Just in case, I put in my seed order for the spring with Johnny’s Seeds in Winslow, Maine. I have used many companies and find that they have the best germination rate.
The most surprising thing I found in my garden was this Cestrum elegans or Red Cestrum shrub. It is a mass of tubular shaped blossoms. It seems to bloom from autumn through until the heat of summer. Cestrums have only a few arching branches so it is a tidy shrub and does not out grow its space. I highly recommend it so do an online search for it. I have not seen it at any local Lowcountry nurseries. Yet.
It is not too late to plant spring bulbs. I just planted mine. They have been in the garage fridge since October. I always order species bulbs – that is tulips and daffodils (narcissus) as close to the original form as possible. They seem to take our heat better than most hybrids.
January and February are great months to do some hardscaping if you choose. Shrubs can still be moved around and it is always good to do it before the heat of late spring or summer. Seed and plant catalogs arrive in the mail and I often sit and plan what I will do this spring with a catalog on my lap. Now is a good time for some “creative staring” at your garden and yard to plan for the new growing season.
Down here, spring will be here before we know it.