Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Ice and Fire

As Christmas descends upon us, I find the greatest gift of all to be a simple day spent outside. These early weeks of Winter have been so very mild, often almost Spring-like, and the more time I spend outdoors the more I yearn to add more winter-interest to my garden. I have great appreciation for plants that manage to look good in the depths of December or January, and below are five favorites:

Carex 'Evergold'
This gorgeous evergreen mounded grass perennial is worth it's weight in gold. It literally requires no maintenance and is a standout in shady areas that needs a pop of pizazz.

Nandina 'Firepower'
While not my favorite shrub by any means, I can't dismiss the appeal of an evergreen that keeps a compact habit and glows red all winter long.

Mahonia Bealei
This burly yet beautiful shrub has some fearsome thorns, yet the most exquisite flowers and berries in Spring. Already the yellow flowers are waiting to unfurl themselves, and I can't wait to see it.

Euphorbia 'Rainbow ascot'
I bought this perennial on a clearance table last summer, and have been wowed ever since, so much so that I believe I may try to find a spot for it in the garden. Currently it's in a container on my deck and doing fine, but I'd love to add whole swaths of it in the garden somewhere.

Nandina domestica
The traditional Nandina, with it's graceful cleaved foliage and bright red berries, has now settled in nicely after being transplanted too many times to count, and I just love the bright red berries. They really sing *Christmas*.


Nikita Nicholas said...

Crystal, Thanks for sharing your gardening experiences; such wonderful projects and beautiful pictures in 2011! Please allow me to extend Holiday wishes to you and your family.

God bless

Crystal said...

Happy Holidays to you too, Merry Christmas and have a Happy New Year!!


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