What to SHOP for :
Annuals (or perennials used as annuals) - Calendula, Chrysanthemum paludosum (nice white daisy flowers for winter bloom), Bellis perennis, Primrose, Sweet Peas, Cyclamen (plant a little high so they do not rot).
Shrubs - Chaenomeles (Flowering Quince-can be a spreader) Corylus avellana 'Contorta' (Harry Lauder's Walking Stick), Elaeagnus pungens 'Marginata', Daphne*, Cornus stolonifera (Redtwig Dogwood-for great winter stem color).
Trees - Arbutus 'Marina', Crataegus (Hawthorn) , Chionanthus retusus (Chinese Fringe Tree).
Veggies - Onion sets, Shallots, Spinach, Lettuce.
*Daphne shrubs can quickly disappear from nurseries. If you really want one, start shopping now before they are all gone! Choose well branched, full plants with lots of flowering buds that haven't bloomed yet.
The yellow autumn leaves of Corylus avellana 'Contorta' (Harry Lauder's Walking Stick).
Plant some drama - For a dramatic, low care shrub that will steal the show in winter, plant Corylus avellana 'Contorta' (Harry Lauder's Walking Stick). Harry offers year-round interest. In the summer this shrub will be full of green leaves, by fall the leaves can turn a yummy yellow before falling off to reveal its winter splendor of catkins hanging down from twisted stems! Little to no pruning is needed for Harry except to remove any sucker growth a few times a year.
Pruning - Wisteria pruning in winter is how to encourage the most blooms in spring. Prune, leaving two to three buds on each spur (short stem). When you look closely you will see fat buds and thin buds. The thin buds will make more foliage. The fat buds will become your beautiful flowers in spring. There is more to learn about how to prune Wisteria, contact Mary for an appointment. Continue to prune off spent flowers (called deadheading) from Pansies, Bellis perennis, Calendula and other winter bloomers so they keep blooming and do not go to seed. Frost- Leave frost brunt leaves on hardy plants to protect the undamaged growth.
Pests - Spraying for peach leaf curl: The best way to remember when to spray is to begin around Thanksgiving, then at Christmas, and then near Valentine's Day (before bud break). Follow instructions on spray as to how to apply. Choose a time when no rain is in the forecast for a few days at least.
Weeds - Get ahead of annual weeds that germinate once rains arrive. Weeding before they go to seed is key! Watch The Gardening Tutor's video on How to Manage Weeds.
Dramatic winter form of Corylus avellana 'Contorta' with Iceland poppies and pansies in background.