Friday, December 7th, 2012...6:56 am

12 Months of Flowers in TheGardenLady’s Garden – Hardiness Temperature Zone 6

Johnny Jump Ups by TattyBones

TheGardenLady is a cheapskate. So when I can get a plant bargain, I take advantage of that. I love to get plants from friends. Of course, I like giving away or sharing my extra plants, too.  If I want a pricey plant, I will wait for sales of plants in good nurseries in the Fall. Fall is the best time to plant big plants, anyway. (Since there has not been a heavy frost yet in many areas, one can still be planting shrubs and trees outdoors.)  But what makes me happiest is when I want something and I find it in a store whose employees know little about the plant and practically give it away because the plant looks “dead.”

Gardening friends of mine love this, too. One gardener got a really expensive rose that way.  That is how I bought this year’s pansies. I went to one of those big box stores that sold plants and looked for pansies. They had some sad, almost dead looking plants so they sold them to me for pennies. It was a win- win situation. The store thought it was getting money from a fool who was paying to take away their dead plants and I was getting plants that bloom now and then will bloom again next year in late winter or early spring.

So right now in TheGardenLady’s garden I have  those pansies happily blooming that I bought for next to nothing- of course the selection was slim so I got mostly white and purple faced pansies. I also paid an incredibly small amount for Johnny Jump Ups. If this winter won’t be harsh these Johnny Jump Ups might live here as a perennial. (see here) Meanwhile TheGardenLady and guests are enjoying these Johnny Jump Ups and pansies on these cold days.

Also, still blooming  in my garden are the perennial hardy but cool-weather cyclamen.  If you want to grow them, plant these cyclamen in out of the way places where you won’t accidentally disturb them by planting something else where you had planted them but forgotten the spot. These small cyclamen spend part of the year in dormancy, and when conditions are right, they send up their leaves and then their flowers.  They love night temperatures that drop almost to freezing. Perennial cyclamen are very hardy and are perfect to grow in the colder regions of the country. The hardiest varieties are small, smaller than the standard-sized floral cyclamen that you buy in the stores  (see here).

And to surprise TheGardenLady this Thanksgiving, one of my Hellebore plants started blooming. Usually one can find them flowering closer to Christmas- even when there is snow on the ground. (see here)  The common name is Christmas or Lenton Rose because they do bloom when those holidays are celebrated. (And last year, my Hellebores remained with flowers through June.)

Thus TheGardenLady still has flowers in her garden. These are not the big, showy flowers that one has in Spring, Summer and Fall. But these small flowers are almost more appreciated because they are flowering when all the leaves in the garden have fallen and the grounds start looking bleak.

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