Vintage buckets can be found in all shapes, sizes, materials and colors. This metal dry-goods bucket makes a great holder for a live rosemary plant to give to the chef or gardener in your life. Buckets can also be filled with miniature Christmas trees or winter flowers like paperwhites. Include tips on caring for the plant on the back of the gift tag.
No matter what makes someone cherish a plant, for it to remain a garden favorite it must tolerate a wide range of soils and climates. The bright red berries of heavenly bamboo (Nandina domestica), the large winter flowers of Camellia japonica ‘Pink Perfection’, and the fragrant stems of paperwhites (Narcissus tazetta) are from plants grown at my family home place for over 75 years with no care at all. And they have been shared from cuttings and divided clumps and bulbs throughout our whole family.
Sweet-scented, dark pink blooms stand out against this winter daphne’s variegated leaves. The flowers open from late winter to early spring on shrubs that reach 3 to 4 feet tall. This variety, ‘Maejima’, has good deer resistance.
Named for the sausage-shaped fruits that appear in summer, 'Cathedral Gem' sausage vine is semi-evergreen. Its stems can grow to 25 feet long; in winter, they’re ornamented with white buds that become dangling flowers in shades of cream to dusky mauve. Grow it on a trellis or arbor near a patio, deck or door, so you can enjoy its perfume.
Plant this shrub in masses for sweeps of winter color. The buds start out a dark, purplish-pink and open to bell-shaped flowers. ‘Impish Elf'® Lily of the Valley (Pieris japonica) can be used as a container, foundation or border plant. It's hardy in USDA zones 6 to 8.
Camellia japonica ‘Magnoliaeflora’, with its blush-pink blooms, is a good choice for winter color if you live in a mild region of the U.S. It's an evergreen, hardy in USDA zones 8 to 10, but its flower buds can be damaged by the cold. Grow the plants in filtered sun.
Potted evergreens are excellent for year-round use and can be especially effective during winter months for adding a touch of classic holiday charm. Keep the overall look simple by planting the evergreens in pots covered in interesting, organic textural materials such as burlap, linen or birch bark. For a more finished look, cover the top of the potting soil with moss.
For a wild and free holiday touch to your porch, try potting camellia into medium or tall box planters, then adding a layer of rich green around the base with peat moss. The pinkish red tones of the flowers will add a romantic vibe to your holiday setup.
Unlike most hellebores, or Lenten roses, Gold Collection® ‘Pink Frost’ holds its blooms upright, so their white, pink and deep rose colors are easier to see in winter. The plants have attractive burgundy stems. Use these deer resistant plants as groundcovers or perennials in shady spots.
Alstroemeria is one of the most affordable and widely available flowers nationwide. For a more refined designer look, pick up alstroemeria bunches from the supermarket, then edit them down to a single color (red or white work best) and cut them low for use in a short, squatty vessel. Add another layer of visual interest with galax leaves placed around the vessel's edge.
Red roses are classic and romantic and available through supermarkets and floral shops year-round. For a romantic farmhouse vibe, pair red roses with wax flower, then fill in the spaces between the two with a mix of cedar and pine cuttings.
White and green parrot tulips are very versatile and can be used to to create formal, casual, country or high design looks. For a classic holiday touch, pair white and green parrot tulips with dusty miller. The small touch of dove grey will break up the green and white and also introduce a rich texture.
Spike winterhazel (Corylopsis spicata) opens its fragrant, primrose-yellow blooms from late winter to early spring. Try these deciduous shrubs in a woodland setting; they prefer partial to full sun. While they need regular watering, you may need to water more than once a week after the weather heats up.
Deer resistant Grevillea x 'Noell' is a low-growing, evergreen shrub that's useful to grow on a bank, or as a hedge or border. Rose and white blooms stud its graceful branches, adding splashes of color for a long time in winter. The plants tolerate poor soil and drought after they're established.