What's Blooming in my Georgia Garden in March?

Camellia Lady Vansittart
March is almost over, and the Camellias are still blooming. With this old-fashioned Southern favorite, one can have blooms in the garden from Fall all the way to Spring. Camellia Lady Vansittart has been blooming for more than a month in front of my home with Northwestern exposure. Yesterday I noticed red double blooms remaining on a couple of large camellias that came to me with no label many years ago.

Japanese Quince Toyo-ishiki



Flowering Quince is one of my favorite shrubs for the late winter garden. Texas Scarlet began blooming a few weeks ago with its bright red blooms. Toyo-nishika is an eyecatching shrub with blooms of white, pink, orange, and red all on the very same plant. All I can say is "Wow!"



Loropetalum Zhuzhou
Loropetalum never ceases to amaze me. Loropetalum is a Chinese Fringe Shrub that blooms several times throughout the year. Also known as Chinese Witch Hazel, you can see the similarity in bloom to our native Witch Hazel. Often here in Georgia, just as the shrubs get ready for their first (very early) Spring bloom, a late freeze will turn the buds brown before we can enjoy them. Loropetalum shrubs don't give up though and will form more blooms to try again just a little later. This has been a great year for the Loropetalum. Every one we have is just covered with brilliant hot pink blooms! There's a white-blooming Chinese Fringe shrub too.
White Chinese Fringe Bush



Native Redbud

Redbud is one of my favorite native trees. The largest one I have planted itself right in the middle of the path to the arbor next to my greenhouse. Of course, I did what any native plant freak would have done, and I moved the path, not the tree. That little seedling has grown several feet tall in just a few years. I knew she'd be thankful to me for not disturbing her.

Crabapple




The Crabapple Trees I have were bought several years ago from a nurseryman who is no longer living. I don't remember the cultivar, but the leaves are purple and the blooms are hot pink. In fall, small red apples develop, but the birds and squirrels quickly devour every one of them.










Creeping Phlox
Creeping Phlox is absolutely gorgeous on a slope or spilling over a rock wall. I have tried growing this tough little groundcover to spill over the brick retaining wall beside our driveway. But these pesky chickens (whom I love very much) won't let me have anything planted there. So far they've destroyed creeping phlox, loropetalum pixie, oregano, and ice plant in that spot. I have managed to keep some Lamb's Ear there by surrounding it with rocks. Wish me luck on that. But if you don't have free-range chickens roaming around in your garden scratching up your plants, Creeping Phlox will thrive for you, wherever you plant it. There's a fragrance too!




Bridal Wreath Spirea is spectacular this year. This shrub is completely covered with pure white blossoms that look like tiny white roses. Spireas are surprisingly easy to grow. I don't think this one has ever received any water other than rainfall. It's growing in full sun on a bank in our roadside garden with clay soil as hard as a brick.

What's Blooming in my Georgia Garden in February: Part 2

Well, it's still February, and now there are even more flowers in our Georgia garden. From my point of view, our weather has been horrible. A few beautiful sunny days warm enough to work outdoors have been sandwiched between lots of rainy cold days amidst dark and dreary cloudy days when the dampness just goes to my bones.

Fragrant Winter Daphne from Shady Gardens Nursery
Daphne odora, Fragrant Winter Blooms



If I were a shrub, I would not bloom, and if I were a flower, I would not open. Yet camellias and Daphne shrubs continue to bloom despite all this yucky weather.



Lonicera fragrantissima




And when I walked outside yesterday afternoon, I found Lonicera fragrantissima in full bloom. This variety of Lonicera is known as Winter Honeysuckle since it blooms reliably every Winter. This old-fashioned shrub is also known as Kiss Me at the Gate.
Spirea Fujino Pink

Then I remembered that Fujino Pink Spirea had bloomed earlier this month, and I forgot to mention that in my previous post.

 "Are they still blooming?" I wondered. Yes, yes, they are! 

Now I know what I must do. Since our winter weather can sometimes be too cold and wet for me to venture outdoors, I must plant some of these winter bloomers near a window, to be enjoyed from inside where it is warm!

What's Blooming in my Georgia Garden in February?

Since winters are often very mild here in Georgia and Alabama, it's long been a goal of mine to have something blooming in the garden every month of the year. Winter months are the hardest. Summer provides unlimited options, but the coldest months of winter--January and February--pose the biggest challenge.

Everyone knows about Camellias, and every Fall I look for varieties I don't already have. There's a camellia for every month from September all the way into April. Lady Vansittart is blooming here now in February.
Daphne odora is a plant that really provides year round interest. We grow aureomarginata, which has evergreen leaves with a yellow margin. This variegation makes the shrub attractive even when not in bloom. Every year without fail, the lovely bloom clusters in either pink or white open and surround the garden in fragrance. The flowers smell to me like fresh cut lemons, but others say they remind them of Fruit Loops cereal. Either way, the fragrance is delicious and can be enjoyed right in the middle of winter. Daphne odora is often referred to as Winter Daphne or February Daphne, because that's when it usually blooms.

Edgeworthia chrysantha is a deciduous shrub with fragrant spherical bloom clusters in late winter and very early spring. Chinese Paper Bush is also known as Rice Paper Plant, because the bark is used to make rice paper. That's funny--I always thought rice paper was made from rice. Edgeworthia likes growing in rich, well-drained soil with evenly moist soil in a shady spot.



Leatherleaf Mahonia is an evergreen holly-like shrub with prickly leaves and vivid yellow bloom spikes in the middle of winter. Our plants even have a little variegation, which makes it interesting year round. Pollinators love this plant on warm sunny days in January and February, since winter flowers are hard to come by. And in late Spring, dark purple drupes develop and are food for wildlife when other berries are not yet ripe. Gardeners either love this plant or hate it. I like it.