Depths of Winter Gardening

There’s no denying the harshness of this winter ‘13-’14. Here in Western NY, the snow is deep, but not so deep. The sun is shining, the temps are in the 20’s (okay, down to single digits at night) and traffic is moving briskly. You might guess, as my friend from Atlanta says, we are used to this harshness. What can we gardeners do to survive these cold winter months?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASeed catalogs. Get on their mailing lists and learn, dream, order. Look up a plant online and you’ll probably be inundated with choices. Don’t forget to check out the gardening tools and the latest in deer repellents.

These catalogs contain valuable information. Hardiness zones, height, width of the plant, etc. Before you fall in love with a plant, check if it will survive in your agricultural zone. Mine is a 4/5. Anything higher and the health of the plant is in jeopardy.

Annuals – favorites for easy color without fuss, but keep the old blossoms trimmed (called ‘deadheading’) for continual blooms.

Pansies—Darlings of spring, they may fade in the heat but you can replace them with…

Zinnias—‘Profusion,’ any color. 12-15 inches high and about the same wide, they are spectacular bloomers.

Marigolds—French for quick, petite blooms and the African ones for tall, late. Pot up the large ones for fall patio color.

Sunflowers are a pure joy. Include a few here and there.

Petunias—it might be easier to buy plants, but they are not difficult to grow from seed.

Many, many more choices are available. Dream, plan! Spring will be here before you know it.


5 thoughts on “Depths of Winter Gardening

  1. I love peonies too! One of my favorite, early summer perennials, Eris.
    I think Roses are pretty hardy, Mary. They may die down but you can remove the dead wood and expect new shoots to greet you. Hope so anyway. Must be quite a shock to Alabama Roses.
    Us too Kathleen. One of the twins is inside the fence and just won’t leave. I feel sorry for him/her, but nature will take care of its own. He even comes up to my back steps and tries to reach the vine growing up my chimney. If he kills your shrubbery totally, consider planting some form of spirea. They won’t touch it. Barberry too is safe. The heavy snow pushed the fence down around my young Bartlett pear, but I think the top is still intact. Hang in there, folks. Won’t be long now. <g

  2. I can almost see my garden. Well it is there under 3 feet of snow. This has been a dreary winter but the gardening catalogs help. All those beautiful peonies.
    Best wishes, Eris

  3. I live in South Alabama and my lilies have died, too. We’ve had severe weather–ice, but no snow. I hope my roses survive. Sometimes, like life, we just have to start over.
    Being stuck inside gave me time to write, though.

    Mary S. Palmer

  4. We have about 20 inces of snow, on top of a half inch of ice, on top of four inches of snow. The deer, which usually leave my shrubs and things alone, have eaten as high as they can reach. They have become so brazen the just move aside a bit when we go out. I’m afriad they are going to get into the habit of chowing down around here and I will have a totally barren summer this year.


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