Imagine being able to pick fresh lemons, limes and oranges right from your patio! Read more »
Cutting overgrown grasses by more than an inch or two at a time can create unhealthy brown and bald spots in your lawn – or ev... Read more »
Kids are eager gardeners. They love to experiment with colorful flowers, have an adventurous sense of design, and getting dirt... Read more »
Our Shear Ease® Grass Shears include a patented mechanism that prevents the blades from jamming or sticking when you’re trimmin... Read more »
The first time you try our PowerGear® Hedge Shears, you’ll be amazed — but it’s not magic, it’s gears. Our patented gear techno... Read more »
Our Easy-Pour Watering Can offers both capacity and control. The 2.6-gallon volume holds a generous amount of water that is eas... Read more »
Put your crafting skills to work and create a beautiful and unique fascinator that reflects your personal style. Read more »
“Painting” with tissue paper is not only fun but beautiful! Read more »
Mosaic tile frames are a beautiful way to display photos. Read more »
Designed for long, easy cuts down strips of Duck® Tape, our Duck® Edition Scissors feature a non-stick blade coating that preve... Read more »
Add distinctive style to craft projects of all kinds with a Squeeze Punch that makes every embellishment up to 2X easier to pun... Read more »
Designed for tight, precise cuts through Duck® Tape, our Duck® Edition Detail Scissors feature a non-stick blade coating that p... Read more »
A colorful, roomy bag is just the thing you need to carry all your belongings for a day at the beach. Read more »
Keep the kids busy on a road trip with their own art bag full of inspiration and the essentials. Read more »
This easy pillowcase dress looks adorable with pretty fabrics. Plus, it is super simple to put together, even if you have not... Read more »
Only our Stitcher Scissors provide precision and control that meet the needs of the most demanding sewers and quilters. Micro-T... Read more »
Our Seamstress Scissors are the perfect all-purpose scissors for anyone who cuts fabric frequently. The smooth action of these... Read more »
Choose our Dressmaker Shears for long, smooth cuts through multiple layers of medium to heavy fabrics. Extra-long blades maximi... Read more »
Looking for a sure cure for bored kids - make sparkly sea creatures! Read more »
Open-ended activities like this Busy Book can keep kids occupied in the back seat of a car AND spark fun family conversations! Read more »
It doesn’t take much to turn an everyday snack into something a little extra special. It is great to see how quickly you can a... Read more »
Our Preschool Training Scissors features a special training lever that opens the blades after each cut, helping children learn... Read more »
Children love our Designer Non-stick Blunt-tip Kids Scissors for the colorful handle patterns that make cutting fun and the non... Read more »
Our Designer Non-stick Student Scissors are larger than our Kids Scissors but smaller than adult scissors, perfect for those ol... Read more »
The beautiful mood lighting of lanterns at outdoor gatherings is fabulous, so why not craft up a set to use this summer. Read more »
Treat your children to their own special tent hideaway, then stand back and watch as the fun and adventures begin! Read more »
Make a thoughtful gift for someone this summer! Read more »
The StaySharp™ Max Reel Mower combines patent-pending technology with superior ergonomics to deliver best-in-class cutting perf... Read more »
Great for beginners, the unique design of this tool makes cutting perfect shapes from fabric a breeze — since you’re not managi... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of sewing and quilting tasks, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabric Shears sense blade separation and force t... Read more »
Camellias are great plants for winter color, but they are a bit unpredictable where I live. Oklahoma now has winters that are sometimes more like North Carolina and further south, and other times, like northern Kansas. Our recent summers can only be described at Sahara-like. These temperature fluctuations are difficult for camellias. I am encouraged, however, by some hybridized for USDA Hardiness Zone 7A. They seem to bridge the gap for those of us in the middle south, and Camelliax 'Crimson Candles' is one I’m willing to try. It’s a fast-growing, upright cultivar with a bright pink bloom. A close friend, Frances from Fairegarden blog located in Tennessee, has grown C. Sasanqua 'Chansonette' in a dry and shady spot for twelve years. She says it never fails to bloom. Her photos are above and below.
Mahonias, being prickly members of the barberry family, are for the most part rough and tumble plants. They bloom so delightfully anywhere between February and April that everyone should consider one or two for dry shade. Mahonias are evergreen with foliage that changes color in the fall. Plus, they produce berries to attract birds. For a soft touch, choose M. eurybracteata ‘Soft Caress’ because it doesn’t sport thorns on its finely textured leaves.
New to me this year is Prunus mume, Japanese apricot. J. C. Raulston loved this shrub, and at his namesake, the J.C. Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh, North Carolina, grow numerous, different cultivars blooming in late winter. I’d like to grow P. mume ‘Kobai’ or the lighter pink ‘Hana-kami.’ I understand they are also fragrant, another plus.
I am a huge champion of Lonicera fragrantissima, winter honeysuckle, even though it is a very large and rather boring plant in summer. In late winter, there is nothing that smells quite like it. A friend gave me a small sprig three years ago. It has now grown to huge proportions on a side of my deck where no one ever looked. They now peer over the edge in early February because of the intoxicating scent. If you can find L. purpusii ‘Winter Beauty,’ it’s another great winter-blooming, honeysuckle, as is the later blooming cultivar ‘Spring Romance.’
Of course, there’s forsythia, but the thought of one just makes me yawn. Why not plant a witch hazel instead? Witch hazels are the heralds of February. I grow two hybrids and plan to add the native Hamamelis vernalis, Ozark witch hazel. I have H. xintermedia ‘Arnold Promise’ named after and introduced by the Arnold Arboretum at Harvard University. It is a medium-sized, lemon yellow shrub – or small tree – planted at the end of a partially shaded, curving sidewalk in my front yard. It blooms in late winter/early spring. Even earlier is H. xintermedia ‘Diane.’ I’ve heard from friends living in warmer climates that ‘Diane’ doesn’t completely drop her leaves in winter. Thus, most of her blooms are sadly hidden. Here, in Oklahoma, she is leafless by January, and in February I’m rewarded with clouds of scarlet ribbons that unfurl by day and curl up at night. I’ve heard coppery ‘Jelena’ is even more beautiful. H. virginiana, another native, is heavily scented. It blooms yellow in fall. Witch hazels also have excellent fall color and will eventually grow into larger shrubs or small trees with time so take this into account before placing them in the landscape.
Many springs ago, I planted two Loropetalum chinensevar. rubrum, Chinese fringe flowers in my lower garden. One was eventually lost to an exceptionally frigid winter and poor drainage, but the other lives on. In recent years, I’ve noticed an explosion of cultivars in garden nurseries. There are now dwarf versions like Purple Pixie® to cascade down containers and darker red ones like Ever Red®.
If you can’t wait until February or March for winter blooms, plant fruiting hollies for winter color. These can be traditional hollies with pointy tipped, dark green foliage or those that are deciduous like natives American winterberry, Ilex verticillata, and possumhaw, I. decidua.All are simply lovely specimens in the winter landscape. Berry Poppins™ is a new cultivar coming out from Proven Winners® in 2013. Look for it and its mate, Mr. Poppins™ at your local garden center. Hollies need a male plant for fruit production.
We can’t stop winter from coming, but we can plant for beauty to enjoy all year long. Take a cue from any of the above shrubs, and you just might take a shine to winter too.