By Tammy Sons
If you are planning to redesign your garden this winter, there are many choices of plants available that will do an able job - but there are a few that are particularly beautiful and suited to the winter that deserve special consideration. The emerald green shades of a healthy plant against a winter backdrop can be breathtaking. Wintergreen plants have the ability to grow and remain green during the winter when many other plants are dying or already dead. Of the many varieties of flowering plants, shrubs and trees that you can plant during winter, here are our favorites.
Checker berry, properly known as Gaultheria procumbent, is primarily found in North America. Checker berry plants are very adaptable to cold winters, making them ideal even in many harsh climates. Checker berry is an evergreen shrub that is adorned with white or pink colored flowers which generally bloom during summers. These are perennial plants which can grow up to 10-15 centimeters in height. These shrubs are very drought resistant and require soil with a pH level of 4 – 6.5.
Azaleas are another evergreen plant - which incidentally look great when grown with Checker berry plants - which can really help make any winter garden pop with vibrant beauty. Azaleas bloom during spring and are multi-colored (primarily red, white and pink). They have almost the same growing conditions as Checker berry plant. Azaleas grow in acidic soil which should be well drained and with the pH level of 4.5 – 6.0.
Bergenia are perennial plants which can be grown with Azaleas and/or Checker berry. Their flowers are cone shaped and generally appear in several pink shades. While Bergenia will grow in most soils without any problem, soil that is moist and rich in humus is preferred. They can grow in extreme temperatures which range from -35 °F to 115 °F. If you are looking for really hardy winter plant that will grow almost anywhere, the Bergenia is a great choice.
Whatever choice you make for your winter garden, be sure to do a little research first. Make sure that everything is suited to your USDA growing zone and that you have a soil pH that matches the needs of your plants as well. With a little imagination and the right plants, you can make a winter garden to remember.