Feeling the winter blahs yet? Head to the local garden center and get yourself some seasonal leafy greens. These grow great during the winter months and having them fill up those empty flowerpots you have sitting around your home and patio areas is a great plus.
Here's a few suggestions for greens that love winter!
1. Kale - Toss bit sized pieces with fresh lemon juice, garlic and extra virgin olive oil, then saute quickly until just tender. Pair with ancient whole grains such as quinoa or sorghum for a satisfying and nourishing meal. These will fill out a garden planter with curly thick leaves and stems. Many times the underside of the leaf is purple which adds a lot of color to your winter landscape.
2. Collards: A nutritional powerhouse of green goodness, collards make a smart addition to hearty soups. Toss chopped pieces into the pot toward the end of a soup's cooking time, and simmer until soft and tender. Another deep green colorful plant that has large leaves and will fill out any garden planter with no worries. Nice straight leaves with a white vein these are wonderful.
3. Swiss Chard or Lettuce: A relative of the beet family, this hardy veggies comes in a rainbow varieties that bring welcome color to winter dishes. For brunch, stem leaves lightly, then use as a base for poached eggs. Yummy! We really like this green potted up. It has deep purple stems & veins which off set the deep green semi curly leaves. Color wise they are a beautiful in a garden container as any flower or house plant that we have seen. Check them out.
We hope we gave you some great ideas on how to turn winters starkness into a lush and healthy time.
Container gardening doesn't have to stop when the growing season is over. Taking advantage of strong plants and seasonal cuttings keeps your pots going into spring.
Rely on plants with winter flowers and ones that feature winter berries. It is always a good idea to include plants with interesting leaves. Many leaves come in variegated colors which add a lot of character and depth. Another great feature are plants & trees that emphasize intriguing bark. Like Crape Myrtles, Oakleaf hydrangeas and Paperbark Maple.
There are plants that have unusual natural structure and grow in different shapes. Japanese maples - Red Twigged or yellow twigged dogwoods. During the winter cold you should realize that this is not the time to dead head all plants. You can attract birds by leaving seed heads of perennials.
Even though you do not want to do extensive pruning during the cold winter months, you can prune evergreens into compelling shapes that add interest and fun. As mentioned before - grasses are a easy way to invite motion in your garden or potted plants. They look especially inviting when placed on either side of a your front door.
Lastly, don't forget to add sensory splashes through out your garden with chimes, mirrors, and pinwheels. The is the time to showcase garden ornaments, potted plants and sculptures.
A garden does not have to look lackluster in winter just because some of the plants go dormant. Use these ways to keep a garden full of life in the cold season.
This time of year you will see exterior creations overflowing with evergreen scent and colorful bursts of the unexpected. Much of the greenery found in these containers are pieces located in your yard or garden. Spruce and cedar branches are tucked nicely into wet floral foam along with pine cones and berry branches. As the season progresses all you need to do is remove branches past their prime and you will still have a full arrangement left.
In these containers you will see many textures abound from spruce, silver fir, Port Orford cedar, juniper and 'Stoneham gold' cedar branches accented by orange-hue eucalyptus, caspia and Southern magnolia leaves.
You tend to think because it is so cold and out of blooming season why bother but as you can see, some attention to minor details can really make a huge difference.
Take a potted Fraser fir, merry with dried artichokes and pear gourds, dyed eucalyptus, caspia, astilbe seed pods, dried hydrangea blooms and pine cone garland and place in a decorative planter and you have a stunning - yet simple and easy to do idea. Many of these products can be purchased in the floral department in major craft stores. Be creative and try different dried fruit and veggies along with your greens for the most interesting effects.
If you are expecting holiday house guests then why not place a fun container overflowing with evergreens and winter plant accents for your garden, on the front porch and provide instant hospitality and a genuine welcome. Use a vintage wheelbarrow, antique wash tub or kids sleigh.
Great Tip - Though howling winds, ice and snow are formidable enemies, many arrangements can last all winter. To prevent containers from cracking as temperatures fluctuate, insert arrangements in place line pots at least 1" smaller than your container. That way if the temps hit freezing you won't crack or damage your decorative container.