I trust that everyone has had a wonderful Christmas, although many of us have been plagued by weather challenges. Here, the Green Christmas gave way on Boxing Day night to an onslaught of weather, including freezing rain, rain, snow, and much wind, assorted power outages and other adventures. Today, the weather continues, blasting us with a few of those 'flurries where winds blow onshore'. But that's fine with me as I have not been outside for two days, content to read, write, nap and otherwise wind down from the chaos of Christmas.
When we were still snow-less in Scotts Bay, I got to thinking about various plants that have snow-related cultivar or common names, thinking that would make for an amusing post. Some of the plants that I have in my garden include Hemerocallis 'Roses in Snow.'
How about a Heuchera called 'Frosted Violet?' This is actually one of my favourite heucheras, tough and productive, and always beautiful.
The exquisite chionodoxa goes by the easier to pronounce 'Glory of the Snow'. These little bulbs are among the first to bloom in my spring garden. I have them in blue and pink, but there are also white forms available.
Before the chionodoxa bloom, however, we are treated to the delightful snowdrops, Galanthus. When the fresh green foliage and petite white flowers begin pushing through the soil, I figure we've pretty much broken the back of winter.
Speaking of winter, how about Gaultheria procumbens, a native plant that goes by the common name of wintergreen? The berries taste of wintergreen, and the foliage is evergreen. This relative of rhododendrons and cranberries likes an acidic soil, and full sun to light shade.
Last spring, I was excited and happy to see that Eryngium 'Jade Frost' had made it nicely through the winter. The spring growth of foliage is flushed nicely with pink before fading to a green and white variegation...
...while its flowers start out frosty green and white before flushing to a rich blue. The plant went into winter with several new crowns, so I'm hoping it plans to stay in my garden for years to come.
While I like evergreen holly very well, it's the native Ilex verticillata, also known as Canada Holly or winterberry, that has my heart. This year, most of the berries were gobbled down by flocks of robins migrating through in November and early December, but there are still scattered shrubs here and there festooned with the bright orange or red fruit.
I never met a Centaurea that I didn't love, including the mountain bluet, C. montana. This is a delightful variation called 'Amethyst in Snow', well named with its white flowers and rich purple centres.
Continuing with the theme of winter jewels, how about this Jacob's ladder, Polemonium 'Snow and Sapphires'? While I love the flowers, it's the foliage that makes this an appealing addition to my garden.
Thought of as a common shrub by many, the snowberry, or Symphoricarpus albus, is one of my favourite old-faithful shrubs, especially once festooned with its white berries.
Now that winter is upon us, we're waiting for the snowbuntings, also known as snowbirds, to come visit us any time now. In the meantime, we also anticipate the opening of these 'Snow Bunting' crocus, sometime in March after the snowdrops and chionodoxa.
I've never seen an actual summer snowflake, but this Viburnum plicatum tomentosum 'Summer Snowflake' is a pretty fine alternative. It festoons itself in white flowers, and its pagoda-like lateral branch structure makes it a fantastic small tree all through the year.
One of my favourite rugosa roses is the delicately tinted, highly fragrant 'Snow Pavement', also known as 'Schneekopf'.
Hellebores are also known as Christmas or Lenten roses, although here they don't start to form buds for some weeks yet. (at my friend Flora's down in Sandford, near Yarmouth, there are hellebores forming buds already, but mine wait for a while yet.). This particular variety is Thimble Farms 'Winter Jewel Apricot Blush'. I'm looking forward to it blooming when spring remembers where we live.
And finally, to wrap up this selection of wintery flowers, how about the fantastic 'Snow Princess' alyssum? One of the most floriferous and tough alyssum I've ever encountered, it didn't let a little snow and frost deter it a few weeks back, but it's now resigned itself to the compost heap.
What wintery-named plants do you enjoy in your garden?