Winter Jewels

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Mark and Clare Brown bought property in Waitati in 1988 with plans to set up a nursery ...More Information

Winter Jewels

Winter Jewels of the Garden

Cold, frosty winters make gardening a challenge but the rewards of clear sunny days and a delightful Spring display of bulbs, blossom and paeonies, is all worth it. A bit of thought and planning needs to go into getting your garden through winter. It is not as hard as it seems, but if you have plants in your garden that are marginal in  cold winters it is worth taking some precautions.  You can protect plants by a layer of mulch but not too close to woody stems, covering with frost cloth or moving pots under cover. Keep a particular eye on plants which are in their first season, it takes them time to acclimatize as well.

It is time to enjoy the winter delights in the garden. Flowers are few and far between over the winter months. Hellebores are commonly known as the winter rose, these are a real jewel in the winter.  Hellebores require little care and are hardy. Ensure you prepare a good planting site with well rotted compost or manure. Hellebores prefer moist soils, planting under trees is ideal. Their flowers brighten up your winter garden from May through till September.

When choosing your hellebores you are best to buy them when in flower as many are grown from seed, giving a variation in flower. Once you get a few you will find yourself hunting for more interesting varieties. One of my favourite Hellebores is sternii ‘Clifton’. The foliage is stunning with large serrated dark green leaves with silvery veins and red stems. The flowers are a delicate lime green blushed with pink-maroon on the backs. Also the orientalis varieties have some stunning colours from white to apricots, yellow to dark maroons and speckled throats. Come and choose from our great selection

For something with a perfume, Wintersweet,  Chimonanthus praecox is an essential winter flower with lucid yellowish flowers and maroon throat. Himalayan daphne, Daphne bholua, which is an upright evergreen form, has white star like flowers tucked amongst the foliage. The wafts of scent cannot be missed. Also great as a standard as seen at the front door of our garden centre.

The flower and scent of Witch hazel (Hamamelis) are also devine. They unfold their frayed blooms in bright  colours.  Hamamelis mollis pallida and Hamamelis intermedia Arnold Promise with yellow flowers; Hamamelis intermedia Diane in bright red and Hamamelis intermedia Jelena with bright orange flowers.

Rose and Fruit tree pruning demonstrations will be run again this winter. If you are interested register via email or phone and we will keep you posted with dates.

Remember the cold frosty weather kills off those horrid garden bugs and pests! Make sure you plant yourself a winter jewel. Keep warm and enjoy the season, we look forward to seeing you soon for a coffee or bowl of delicious soup,too.

Blueskin Nurseries & Café, State highway 1, Waitati. Open 7 days year round. Phone 034822828 email


State Highway 1,
Waitati, Otago
  Phone 03 482 2828
Fax 03 482 2838

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