Perennials forum: Winter interest?

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Name: Gary
Cincinnati Ohio (Zone 6a)
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Gschnettler
Aug 14, 2016 10:01 PM CST
Hi. I'm new to gardening and I'm trying to get into perennials. I've read that some perennials offer "winter interest". Which perennials are your favorites for winter interest (and why)?

Looking forward to hearing your answers!
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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stone
Aug 15, 2016 12:03 PM CST
I went back through my garden blog to spot some of my cherished winter interest pics...
Found so many that it's kinda hard to know where to start.

I'm a big fan of seedpods, they make really nice pics.... And keep the songbirds happy.
Snow on top of winter seedpods makes an interesting pic... Especially since we get snow so rarely... Some winters, none at all!

And then, there's the verbesina with its cold morning frost blooms, and less well known, are the frost blooms on the dog fennel and the salvia.

Thumb of 2016-08-15/stone/bcee24
[Last edited by stone - Aug 15, 2016 12:05 PM (+)]
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Name: Sue Taylor
Northumberland, UK
Charter ATP Member Garden Photography Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Foliage Fan Houseplants Frogs and Toads
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kniphofia
Aug 18, 2016 11:32 PM CST
If you can grow things like hellebores then you can have winter flowers, but there aren't that many winter flowering perennials. Most winter interest I think comes from the seed heads. People often "tidy up" their gardens in the autumn but I think leaving the dead stems provides much more interest and is more wildlife-friendly. Ornamental grasses are superb plants all year round.
Shrubs can be wonderful for winter, things like Daphnes for flowers and Cornus provide wonderfully coloured stems.
A lot will depend on where your garden is located and what kind of space you have.
Good luck with it!
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
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sooby
Aug 19, 2016 6:49 AM CST
I second Sue's suggestion of ornamental grasses.
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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stone
Aug 19, 2016 7:23 AM CST
There are a number of native blestem grasses in my garden that provide serious winter interest.
I'd be careful with the exotic grasses, they can be quickly problematic.

Thumb of 2016-08-19/stone/900e66

Native bluestem / broom sage, covered in snow.


http://www.stonethegardener.com/wp/tag/seed-pods/
[Last edited by stone - Aug 19, 2016 7:27 AM (+)]
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Name: Rj
Just S of the twin cities of M (Zone 4b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Plant Identifier
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crawgarden
Aug 19, 2016 5:02 PM CST
Baptista australis has great black seed pods that open up, sedums, ornamental grasses.
Name: Cinda
Indiana Zone 5b
Dances with Dirt
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gardengus
Sep 1, 2016 5:13 AM CST
Coneflowers and sedum
they both bloom rather late in the season and the goldfinches just love to purch and pick seed from the old flower heads.
with the tall sedum the flat tops catch the snow and they stand tall all winter. Around here I even find the ladybugs use the base of the sedum stems to overwinter.



This is a patch of beebalm I forgot to cut down last winter



Keep believing ,hoping,and loving
all else is just existing.
Name: Jennifer
48036 MI (Zone 6b)
Cottage Gardener Houseplants Spiders! Heucheras Frogs and Toads Dahlias
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jvdubb
Sep 1, 2016 8:02 AM CST
There was a series of article on just this subject in 2015. Type "winter interest" into the search box and several articles come up
Name: Judy
Simpsonville SC (Zone 7b)
Plant and/or Seed Trader Peonies Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I helped beta test the first seed swap
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SCButtercup
Sep 14, 2016 4:01 AM CST
Artemesia, especially the variety 'Powis castle.' It has silvery blue green leaves and keeps leaves all year. Also it grows great from cuttings and one small plant can easily be divided. From my one little cutting I now have two shrubs, one on hillside another in perennial bed. Versatile and beautiful, Xeric and lives in zone 4-10.
[Last edited by SCButtercup - Sep 14, 2016 4:06 AM (+)]
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(Zone 6a)
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UrbanWild
Sep 14, 2016 4:44 PM CST
SCButtercup said:Artemesia, especially the variety 'Powis castle.' It has silvery blue green leaves and keeps leaves all year. Also it grows great from cuttings and one small plant can easily be divided. From my one little cutting I now have two shrubs, one on hillside another in perennial bed. Versatile and beautiful, Xeric and lives in zone 4-10.


Does that variety flower? Do you think it would stay leafed out in winter further north.
Always looking for interesting plants for pollinators and food! Bonus points for highly scented plants.
[Last edited by UrbanWild - Sep 14, 2016 4:47 PM (+)]
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(Zone 6a)
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UrbanWild
Sep 14, 2016 4:48 PM CST
SCButtercup said:Artemesia, especially the variety 'Powis castle.' It has silvery blue green leaves and keeps leaves all year. Also it grows great from cuttings and one small plant can easily be divided. From my one little cutting I now have two shrubs, one on hillside another in perennial bed. Versatile and beautiful, Xeric and lives in zone 4-10.


Does that variety flower?
Always looking for interesting plants for pollinators and food! Bonus points for highly scented plants.
Name: Vickie
Elberfeld, Indiana, USA (Zone 6b)
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blue23rose
Sep 15, 2016 11:49 AM CST
I have a couple of 'Winter Red' winterberry shrubs that have beautiful red berries on them until around the end of January or early February. They do tend to take up a lot of space (6' x 9'), so am not sure if you are looking for something that large.

Vickie
May all your weeds be wildflowers. ~Author Unknown
Texas (Zone 8a)
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tx_flower_child
Sep 28, 2016 12:56 AM CST
Sue mentioned Hellebores and I totally agree with that. They tend to be kinda pricey in our local nurseries but so worth having. They usually start blooming around Christmas. This year mine surprised me b/c they are still blooming. They come in many colors and I'm itching to get more.

Thumb of 2016-09-28/tx_flower_child/a57985

Hollies are always good.

And while Frostweed (see recent article by Frostweed aka Josephine) plants are not especially showy all year, altho butterflies love them, you live in a great climate to grow them. Once the temps get really cold, the stems will break open and put on a display that I can't begin to describe. I imagine Josephine or someone has posted some pictures in the database. Just checked and here's the link.
Frostweed (Verbesina virginica)
[Last edited by tx_flower_child - Sep 28, 2016 1:02 AM (+)]
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