Blooms that brighten winter
This is part of a series of columns prepared by the staff at the award winning West Seattle Nursery. The Nursery is open for shopping, offering an array of trees, shrubs, bedding plants, house plants, garden supplies, and thousands of decor and gift items. They are located at 5275 California Ave SW and you can find them online at https://www.westseattlenursery.com
Yes, it’s January and spring seems a long way off. But there’s still color in our gardens. Look for these when you are out for a walk.
Sasanqua camellias bloom from November through February. This one, called ‘Yuletide,’ starts blooming around Christmas time. The sasanquas are smaller and finer textured than the japonica varieties that bloom in April and May. They also take well to being trained as an espalier.
You aren’t as likely to see these flowers as you are to notice their fragrance. The scent of the vanilla plant or sweet box (Sarcococca sp.) permeates the air around it from mid-January on. These easy-care evergreen shrubs can make a low hedge. There is also a ground cover variety.
Hellebores begin to emerge in December. There are many different varieties with different bloom times, some as late as April. These delicate-looking, yet hardy, plants generally prefer shady garden beds, but newer varieties are more tolerant of sun exposure. Flower colors range from dark, almost black, burgundies, to pinks, white, picotee (variegated pink and white), and chartreuse.
Still to come – the witch hazels. They have spidery yellow, orange, and red flowers that line their bare branches in mid-winter, and many of them are fragrant. They are late to bloom this year, but well worth the wait.
Also coming soon, the daphnes! Shown here, Daphne odora, famed for its fragrance.
If you need color right now, we have primroses and pansies at the nursery to lift your spirits.