Everybody needs a little winter inspiration!


Begonia hiemalis (Rieger Begonia) Collage of Color

Winter is still young here in the Mid-Atlantic region – temperatures below normal already and we still have half of January and all of February to go!!! Ugh! So, what keeps you motivated during these dog days of winter? For me it’s color in the greenhouse…which inevitably ends up at my house since I have absolutely no self control (and now an empty pocketbook!) when it comes to plants!!! Here are some of my favorites right now that will surely brighten your dreary winter days!


African Violets
TL: ‘Amour Elite’ TM: ‘Iceburg TL: ‘Candy Swirls’
ML: Unknown Variety MM: ‘Austin’s Smile’ MR: ‘Island Hideaway’ (My current fave!)
BL: ‘Island Hideaway’ – Again! BM: Unknown Variety BR: ‘Frosty Cherry’ (My friend Meryl’s current fave!)


Cyclamen persicum – Unknown Color Varieties


Orchids
TL: Dendrobium ‘Micro Chip’ TR: Vuylstekeara Robin Pittman ‘Everglades’
BL: Phragmipedium cardinale ‘schlimii x sedenii’ BR: Phalaenopsis – Unknown Variety


Calceolaria herbeohybrida – Pocketbook Plant


Streptocarpus hybrid
Left: Ladyslipper White Ice Right: Ladyslipper Blue Ice

And don’t forget about foliage plants! These guys can offer some great winter interest inside your home as well!


Foliage
TL: Begonia Rex ‘Jive’ – Atlas Collection TR: A selection of terrarium plants
BL: Aglaonema ‘Crete’ Chinese Evergreen BR: Begonia Rex ‘Spitfire’ – Atlas Collection

Speaking of terrarium plants, what a great winter project! Check out my Facebook and Instagram accounts to see the nautical themed terrarium I made for a Christmas gift! So much fun!

What are you guys doing gardenwise to help alleviate your wintertime blues?

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Winter Container Gardens…How do you do?

Just because the temperatures are dropping doesn’t mean you have to drop gardening for the season. ┬áThere are still so many options for the cool (or cold!) season. ┬áThink about cool season annuals such as ornamental cabbage and kale, pansies, and even snap dragons. Perennials such as euphorbia, carex, acorus or evergreen ferns…and of course evergreen shrubs – the opportunities are endless! Below are some of this years containers to get me through the winter. What are you doing to get your gardening fix this winter?


Far Left: Kale Red Bor, Pansy ‘Dynamite Wine Flash’, Snapdragon ‘Liberty Bronze’, Heuchera ‘Black Taffeta’, Schizachyrium scoparium ‘Standing Ovation’ – Little Bluestem, Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’ – Golden Japanese Forest Grass
Far Right: Kale ‘Winter Bor’, Cabbage ‘Pigeon Red’, Carex ‘Evergold’, Euphorbia amygdaloides hybrid ‘Helena’s Blush’, Ivy – Hedra Helix ‘Yellow Ripple’, Pansy ‘Matrix Morpheous’


Variegated Iris, Euphorbia x martinii Spurge ‘Ascot Rainbow’,
Heuchera Little Cutie ‘Blondie’, Viola cornuta ‘Sorbet Orange Jump Up’,
Rumex sanguineus – Red-Veined Dock

Not everything in your containers has to be a plant…below I added some Red Twig Dogwood branches to add some height to this container. Also think about Yellow Twig Dogwood, Birch branches or Curly Willow. These can really add another element to your cool season containers.


Kale ‘Red Bor’, Kale ‘Emperor Red’, Dryopteris erythrosora ‘Brilliance – Autumn Fern,
Muehlenbeckia axillaris – Creeping Wire Vine, Pansy ‘Cool Wave Mix’,
Pansy ‘Dynamite Wine Flash’, Pansy ‘Delta Premium Blotched Mix’, Viola cornuta ‘Sorbet Blue Heaven’,
Variegated Vinca Vine

Don’t forget to jazz up your stoop or patio with a great seasonal container of fragrant cut greens…


For this arrangement I taped oasis floral foam into a mache liner and went to town with a few birch logs and my greens (the Carolina Sapphire being my fave this year!). I dug out some of the soil left in my container garden from fall that finally kicked it, and dropped this arrangement right in. Just be sure to keep it watered for long lasting results.

How are you celebrating the winter gardening season at your house? Share your gardening photos with me on my Facebook page at http://www.Facebook.com/Petalpushin!