Winter Blooms in the Rainy Day Garden

One of the earliest plants to provide a bloom in winter is Witch Hazel 'Arnold's Promise'. It's been a slow growing, vase shaped, small tree but I get overjoyed when those delicate, bright yellow, blossoms shine with color late January.

Below, manzanita 'Austin Griffiths' is still a baby yet. It's been in the ground two years now and grown over three feet high. I can't wait until it reaches greater heights. It's going to help feed the Anna hummingbirds that winter over. This small tree will begin blooming in early January here in the greater Portland metro area.

arctostaphylos manzanita_x_densiflora Austin Griffiths
Why I don't have a few more sarcococca or 'Sweet Box', I really don't know? It is amazing. It's glossy green leaves hold year round. The scent those tiny white blooms provide, is powerful. Admittedly, I do not spend enough time outside during our cold and sometimes soggy, winter days, but when I do and I catch a whiff of this plant, I'm in heaven - completely transported.

Sarcococca 'Sweet Box'
The next succession of  blooms are front the hellebores. Here are a few pics selected from over 10 varieties that I have in my front gardens.

helleborus 'Valerie'

helleborus 'Cherry Blossom' from Winter Jewels

helleborous 'Double Painted White' this plant was a 2nd at the Winter Jewels nursery sale - so it's not quite as dramatic as other double painted whites.

helleborus 'Apricot Blush' by Winter Jewels - this variety changes color to more of a blush tone during the life of the bloom.

Below, in the backyard,  daphne odora 'Zuiko Nishiki' really provides an incredible scent, starting around late January. It's sultry sweet and I just love grabbing a folding chair and plopping myself down in the back, grassy patio on a sunny, winter day and just breathing in the sweetness. Divine.

Also in late January a pleasant, new addition to the neighborhood is the camellia hedge next door.

If I had to guess, I belive the variety is probably 'Debutante'. It's looks like a double, ruffle and of the purest, soft pink hues. 

And our own heirloom camellia is bursting with fuschia pink color.

We are moving out of winter...I can just feel it and soon the star magnolia will be blooming and many of the spring colors are just around the corner.

When I reflect upon my winter garden, I can see gaps in blooms (i.e. food for wintering hummingbirds). I need to find plants to bloom in December and many gardening friends are recommending a hybrid of our native mahonia. I know there are also varieties of daphne that bloom earlier than my variety.

Providing natural food sources for the hummingbirds is really important to me. It's fun to have so many visiting my feeders all winter, but those birds also need more natural food sources to be healthy birds.

Winter blooms - keeps my little gardening heart happy during our gray and rainy winter days.
Cheers, Jenni


  1. Wonderful photos! I love the way you have trimmed your camellia. It looks fantastic.

    1. Thank you Phillip! I think I've gotten lucky with the way the tree has naturally grown back after a horrific cut back before we moved in seven years ago. It's definitelyl having it's moment of glory right now.

  2. Your hellebores are gorgeous. It really is feeling like spring, isn't it? The sunshine helps.


Post a Comment

Thank you for taking the time to comment on my post. The comment moderator is on and I will approve comments as soon as I can. Thank you for stopping by!

Popular Posts