Christmas Blossoms

December 20, 2010 at 4:15 pm Leave a comment

Most holiday tables are decorated with evergreens, cones and berries this time of year. Sometimes a few branches are added for textural contrast to the softness of many evergreens. We tend not to think of picking flowers from the garden while the winter winds blow. However, if you garden in zones 6b to 9 you can easily grow Fragrant Wintersweet, Chimonanthus praecox, and enjoy sweetly fragrant blossoms from mid-December to mid- February in your winter arrangements.
Fragrant Wintersweet is a deciduous shrub that grows out as it grows up, it is perfect for the back of the border. The plant is shrouded in elliptical shaped green leaves throughout the growing season that turn yellow in the autumn before falling to the ground. In early December flower buds begin to swell opeining a few weeks later revealing small yellow flowers that create a cloud of sweet perfume for those who walk by. At Maymont Chimonanthus praecox grows well in full sun or in partial shade, the bloom schedule is the same for each 100 year old shrub, yes, I did say 100 year old shrubs. This is a tough, easy to grow plant, one in which I only remove the deadwood from the plants in the early spring and enjoy the fragrance of the flowers each winter.
Surprise your guests by adding some sweetness to your holiday celebrations by planting Fragrant Wintersweet in your garden.


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A Bay Laurel Grows in the Maymont Herb Garden Snowy Day in the Herb Garden

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