Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Flowers for Your Winter Landscape

For flower lovers in zones 3b and 4, there are some choices for winter flowers for the landscape.  Bulbs are the answer. 

  • Winter Aconite, Eranthus hyemalis - the more common of the aconites which originated from Europe with lemon-yellow flowers and are great planted as borders or under shrubs or trees.  Definitely best used in large numbers.  By late January or early February, these will be blooming. 

  • Winter Aconite, Eranthus cilicica - is not as common as E. hyemalis.   These bulbs are originally from Turkey with yellow flowers with smaller yellow-bronze leaves. 

Aconites are easy to grow.  As long as aconites have even moisture, they will survive in full-sun and/or partial shade.  For Colorado with our alkaline soils, these bulbs do well in alkaline soil.  They thrive in zones 4 through 7. 

The second type of winter flower bulb is as follows:

  • Snowdrops, Galanthus nivalis 'Flora Pleno'  - a bulb with double white flowering petals originating from northern Europe.  

  • Snowdrops, Galanthus elwesii - is a bulb with giant honey scented snowdrops.

Snowdrops need to be planted in the fall.  They require full-sun with moist soil.  They will do well in zones 2 through 4.  The best feature is they bloom after Christmas.  These bulbs need to be planted in large numbers as they are used to naturalize an area, or a border.

Thursday, December 10, 2015


Photo Credit: Wikipedia

We think of oaks as stately, slow growing and large trees.  With a new introduction 'JFS-WK3' Urban Pinnacle Oak, it is a narrow, pyramidal form growing 55 feet tall and 25 feet wide.  This oak will fit in most urban front or backyard landscapes.   One of its best features is its resistance to powdery mildew and anthracnose. 

As with other oaks, it is still a slow growing tree.  Urban Pinnacle has a strong central leader.  Another great characteristic is its tolerance for heat and drought.  Here on the eastern plains of Colorado, trees benefit greatly by having those characteristics.  So if you are looking for a narrow tree which will live a long time for your landscape, you might want to try Urban Pinnacle.