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Flowering plants are still a thing this time of year

Even though we are at an in between point season wise, there are still plenty of plants that are flowering or getting ready to flower that are perfect for any garden situation you might have. Let’s talk about some great options for planting in your garden.

Hellebourus, commonly called Lenten rose, or Christmas Rose get their ecclesiastical nickname from when they flower. The blooming begins in winter and extends into spring, surrounding the season of Lent (the 40-day season that many Christians observe before Easter). While the long-lived plants add color to the garden for several months, they're also appreciated for their attractive evergreen foliage. Each leaf consists of a long leafstalk ending in large, leathery leaflets grouped together like fingers on an outstretched hand. Contrary to what their common name might have led you to believe, Lenten roses are actually species of Helleborus in the buttercup family—they're most assuredly not roses.

All hellebores form tight clumps, but species differ in their manner of growth. Some have stems that rise from the ground with leaves all along their length; stems produce flowers at their tips in their second year, then die to the ground as new stems emerge to replace them. In other species, leaves arise directly from ground level, while separate (typically leafless) flower stems spring from the same points.

Azaleas, part of the genus Rhododendron, are a favorite shrub of many gardeners for their spectacular blooms, with colors ranging from vivid orange to delicate yellow.

This plant, particularly the evergreen azalea variety, is prized for its glossy, dark green leaves that provide color and texture throughout the year. Azaleas also attract various pollinators to your garden, including bees and hummingbirds, adding an element of wildlife interest to your landscape.

Azaleas are known for their resilience, but they have specific growing preferences. They flourish in well-draining, slightly acidic soil, rich in organic matter. A layer of mulch, such as pine bark or pine straw, helps retain soil moisture and keeps azalea roots cool during the heat of summer.

Daphnes are quite attractive shrubs, producing white to light pink tubular flowers in spring or early winter in warm climates, followed by small red berries (drupes). The small, oblong, light green leaves are evergreen in warm climates. Daphne plants lose leaves in cold climates, though they may still remain hardy to zone 4, depending on the cultivar. The shrub usually forms a very nice rounded mound. Varieties such as 'Carol Mackie' are especially prized for their variegated foliage. Daphnes are relatively small shrubs that are good choices for small yards, where they make good foundation plants or specimens for shrub borders.

These are slow-growing shrubs that are generally planted from well-developed nursery plants in spring or early fall. It can take seven to ten years for these plants to reach their relatively small mature size. Be advised, though, that all parts of the Daphne are toxic to people and pets, especially the bright berries.

          Japanese pieris is a broadleaf evergreen shrub in the heath family, boasting year-round beauty and interest when used as a landscape plant. Native to Japan, Taiwan, and east China, Japanese pieris has oblong leaves that open with a reddish-bronze color before transforming into a glossy, leathery green. It is an early bloomer, erupting in drooping clusters of delicate flowers for about two weeks during the late winter and early spring.

The white or pale pink blooms resemble those of lily-of-the-valley, without the strong, notable fragrance. Best planted from potted nursery plants in the spring or fall, Japanese pieris is not fast-growing and it will take its time establishing itself in your landscape. Because of its slow growth habit, the plant makes a good choice for foundations and shrub borders—you don't run the risk of damaging nearby structures or losing control of the plant's growth or spread.

Japanese pieris is toxic to dogs and cats, and it is considered to be seriously toxic to humans.

Queens of the winter flowers, Camellias are attractive evergreen shrubs that are highly prized for the beauty of their exquisite blooms, their splendid evergreen foliage, and their compact shapely habit. Blooming prodigiously for weeks from fall to spring, when the rest of the garden offers little, Camellias are ranked as one of the best flowering shrubs.

With just a couple of well-chosen shrubs, it is possible to have blooms in your landscape from October through May. Do you have a camellia in your garden? If you don’t, maybe it is time to reconsider!

Not only are all these varieties amazing bloomers and great in our area, but they are all at our nursery right now waiting for a home! Come on down and let us help pick the perfect bloomer for your garden!

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