Gardening 101: Flowering Shrubs Provide Spring Colors in the Cold Winter

FORT WORTH (TBEN) – The grayness of winter can be a bit depressing.

As we go through the first sunsets and the coldest days of January and February, I can’t wait for the spring color to return.

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There’s a little winter blues balm, a trio of shrubs you grow in your garden to provide much-needed color during the coldest of times.

In this week’s Gardening 101, we show you three shrubs that have one thing in common.

They produce flowers in mid-winter. Strange as it may sound, they certainly stand out in the grey/brown palette of the winter months.

Leatherleaf Mahonia not only produces a cluster of tiny flowers in January, but those flowers also turn into very attractive berries for the rest of the year.

These plants grow slowly but love shade. They also produce distinctive evergreen foliage.

Flowering quince and winter honeysuckle also produce flowers in season.

Honeysuckle is a very durable plant and once established it is both drought tolerant and low maintenance.

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Not only does it bloom all winter, but it also produces a powerful scent that you’ve probably smelled before, but probably on a summer night (all other varieties of honeysuckle bloom in the warm season).

Flowering quince only blooms for a few weeks in January, but the flowers are abundant on the stems and very bright red.

Both plants are quite tall, 6 feet to 8 feet.

They are also a little lanky and not the most attractive plant in the height of summer.

But tucked away in a corner, they provide a lovely arching green plant to serve as a backdrop for the color of summer.

And when that summer and fall color fades, your backdrop suddenly becomes the main show.

Just when you need it most, in the dreariest part of winter.

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Next week, I leave the garden to talk about a vegetable business that is the future of agriculture. I can’t wait to show it to you.

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Terri S. Tomasini