Stillwater News Press

Garden

February 8, 2014

What's Blooming 02-09-14

Berries, bark make gardens interesting

 Since there is not much blooming in the garden during the winter, let us discuss what other plants provide interest this time of year.  Many plants have beautiful berries, bark or structure attracting us outside even on gloomy winter days.  

The Possumhaw Holly or Decideous Holly, Ilex decidua, “Warren’s Red” is covered in beautiful bright red berries this time of year. Deciduous, meaning, “falling off” is the term used to describe the trees that loose their leaves annually. Most of us, when picturing a holly, see an evergreen tree covered with spiky leaves. However, the deciduous holly has a smoother obovate leaf during most of the year, then bare branches with bright colorful red or yellow berries during the winter and into early spring.  For us, the berries usually last until the Cedar Waxwings make their way into the garden, which is around late March or early April.  The Cedar Waxwings feed in flocks and they will devour a deciduous holly very quickly so you have to be ready with your camera, or you will miss the feeding frenzy. The deciduous holly is hardy to zone 5, is adapted to most soil conditions, and prefers full sun and moist soils. It’s a great source of food for our feathered friends, so if you are looking to attract more birds and other wildlife into your yard, this is a great small tree or shrub. In order to have berries, you will need a male and female plant, and “Red Escort” is a very popular male pollinator. Oklahoma nurseryman Otis Warren discovered the female sport of Ilex decidua, we call “Warrens Red.”

Another attractive shrub providing winter interest is the Japanese Rose, Kerria japonica. This plant has vibrant green stems from the ground all the way to the tips.  

It makes a great statement standing out among the gray bark of the trees during the winter months. Kerria japonica grows to about eight feet high and wide, prefers shade and moist, well-drained soils and is hardy to zone 4. In the spring, the Japanese Rose has brilliant yellow flowers and will bloom sporadically throughout the summer. This is a great plant to use to brighten up a shady area. The Oklahoma Proven Plant committee chose the Kerria Japonica as the perennial shrub in 2002.

For unique structure in the garden, the Yucca rostrata “Sapphire Skies” is a great choice. The foliage this time of year is more of a green but, in the summer, it turns a powder blue. It grows to about four feet tall and is deer-resistant. The leaves are narrow and very flexible. This yucca will grow in zone 5b making it one of the hardiest species of trunked yucca.

Laura Payne is the volunteer and events coordinator at The Botanic Garden at Oklahoma State University and a field producer for the TV program “Oklahoma Gardening.” Contact her at laura.payne@ok-state.edu.

 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Garden
  • In the Garden 07-27-14

    Quercus is the Latin name for oak. It is a quirky name; some believe its roots came from the Celtic word for “fine tree.” Anyone familiar with oaks knows they are indeed fine trees.

    July 26, 2014

  • Farmers Market

    The Stillwater Farmers Market is open every Monday at Stillwater Medical Center from 2-5:30 p.m. and every Wednesday and Saturday in Strickland Park at the corner of Hall of Fame Avenue and Main Street from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
    What’s at market this week?

    July 23, 2014

  • Grow! 07-20-14

    Roses are a beautiful addition to any garden and landscape. They come in a variety of colors that enhance your yard. However, like other plants, roses are susceptible to disease. One that seems to hit roses the hardest is rose rosette disease caused by the rose rosette virus.

    July 19, 2014

  • Seed to Table 07-20-14

    Weed control is an important part of food production. So, I recently undertook an effort to rid my pastures of a particularly noxious weed.

    July 19, 2014

  • In the Garden 07-20-14

    Mulch is full of purpose. What it lacks in mystery, it makes up in function. Mulch contributes to healthy gardens. No one ponders or debates it, yet many do not take the time to mulch.

    July 19, 2014

  • Farmers Market 07-17-14

    The Stillwater Farmers Market is open every Monday at Stillwater Medical Center from 2-5:30 p.m. and every Wednesday and Saturday in Strickland Park from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

    July 17, 2014

  • Grow! 07-13-14

    If you have no space outdoors for a garden, don’t despair because you can still grow something consumable. Bean sprouts are the easiest and fastest crop to grow.

    July 13, 2014

  • In the Garden 07-13-14

    “Where’s the relief?” That is what I’ve been thinking all week in the garden. I water, wondering if the mist is going to cool or cook the plants. I assumed the last thing anyone would consider this week is planting — anything!

    July 13, 2014

  • Farmers Market 07-10-14

    What’s at market this week?
    Fruits and veggies: Bell peppers, beets, blackberries, cabbage, carrots, collards, cucumbers, eggplant, garlic, green beans, jalapenos, leeks, new potatoes, onions, squash, sweet corn, tomatoes and watermelon
    Baked goods: Biscotti, cakes, cinnamon rolls, cookies, muffins, pies, scones and turnovers

    July 10, 2014

  • Grow! 07-06-14

    Sometimes it can be hard to step out of your comfort zone. This is true for clothing selection, restaurant choices and even the types of plants and shrubs you put in your landscape.

    July 5, 2014

Buy & Share Photos
NewsPress e-Edition
NewsPress Specials
AP Video
Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando
Stocks
NDN Video
Heartwarming 'Batkid Begins' Documentary is Tear-Jerker Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up Broken Water Main Floods UCLA "Maxim" Hotness! See Jessica Alba's Sizzling Spread Two women barely avoid being hit by train Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Reportedly Came To Blows In Ibiza Meet the Man Behind Dumb Starbucks Chris Pratt Adorably Surprises Kids at a 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Screening NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob Golden Sisters on '50 Shades' trailer: 'Look At That Chest!' Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH) She's Back! See Paris Hilton's New Carl's Jr. Ad
Must Read