Even with all this cold we are experiencing, there are buds and blooms at the nursery! Heathers, Camellias, and two other GEMS.. Wintersweet and Winter flowering bush honeysuckle, and an early surprise… Prunus mume!
The eraly camellias are really doing their thing now, Bright red flowers help us to forget that winter has just begun, and there are fragrant hybrids in pink and white as well. Minato no Akebono, Koto no Kaori, Cinnamon Cindy, are among them. The sweet perfume of the wintersweet (Chimonanthus praecox) is just too good to be true, but it IS true! and memorable. Nobody seems to have it anymore. I do not know why, but I have it for sale and customers that visit now will be treated to one of Nature’s more fragrant extravagances at this time of year. Small yellow flowers, often kissed maroon red are highly scented and will continue blooming into January, maybe even Feb.
Winter honeysuckle bush (Lonicera fragrantissima, and L. standishii) are easy care shrubs that offer fragrant flowers for a very long time. They began blooming in Nov. and will continue into April or May. Typical creamy white honeysuckle flowers have a strong fragrance and keep on coming and coming.
The heathers and heaths are a large group that is not well known or utilized much. Flowers come in profusion in many cases and their blooms give a nice show of color in whites, pinks, reds, and purples. Additionally, they have fine texture and a wide growth habit from which to choose. Many low forms make wonderful ground covers. Foliage is of interest here and many of the colored foliage cvs. change color during the year… winter has many of the yellowish forms turning bronze, orange, etc. Spectacular when used in containers also, they give a splash of color in any garden planting scheme. Flowers on these come as an additional bonus.