Living in a sub-tropical climate is a definite plus if you love to spend a lot of time in your garden or yard. Despite the fact that it is November, there are still blooming flowers throughout my West Bank garden.
However, the periwinkles are starting to get leggy, the coneflowers are gone and the basil has started to flower and is done for the year. Before the holiday madness starts, I need to find time to get outside in the gorgeous weather we’ve been having and start the winter garden.
I stopped in to visit my favorite Algiers nursery this week – New Orleans Garden Center and Landscape on Huntlee Drive, just off of General Meyer. The fall and winter plants have arrived and wherever you decide to buy them (although I hope it’s from someone local) there is a profusion of color that can quickly take your garden from the end of summer blahs to the winter aaaaahhhhhs.
What I’m Planting This Winter
Pansies are probably the most traditional of the winter flowers, although we have to be careful not to plant them too early in New Orleans. They will survive the coldest of winters with ease, but our climate can be a little more challenging for them. The lovely ladies at the garden center shared this tip with me: if you want show stopping pansies, they love blood meal as a soil additive.
Most people think of petunias as a spring time flower, but in the south they are a perfect addition to your garden after the long hot days of summer have ended. Cool days and nights allow them to flourish and they can provide blankets of color for the next few months that will make all of the neighbors jealous
Snapdragons are one of my favorite winter flowers. A few years ago, I replanted my entire front garden in white – white petunias, white snapdragons and white pansies. I threw in a few sparkly Christmas lights and voila! A winter paradise, right in my own front yard.
I plan to finish off my winter garden with ornamental cabbage. The colors range from almost white to deep green to purple and the texture they bring to the space is fantastic.
Some other winter gardening tips from New Orleans Garden Center and Landscape
- Roses need to be pruned in January, but how much depends on the type of rose. If you are a novice rose grower (like me), check with a professional before you start chopping off branches!
- It’s time to winterize your lawn whether you have St. Augustine sod, centipede grass or even if you’ve seeded with winter rye
- Mulch is just as important in the winter as in the summer and can help protect the roots of your plants during those rare freezes on the south shore
- Once you’ve watered your plants in well, there is no need to water as much as in the summer. Of course, common sense rules and if they are looking a little droopy, give them a drink!
Hopefully, I can get all of this work done before the Thanksgiving holiday, because after that it will be time for a return visit to pick up poinsettias in every color for Christmas. Whew…I better get to work.
New Orleans Garden Center and Landscape is located at 210 Huntlee Drive in Algiers. Call (504) 366-2017 for winter operating hours or more information and tell Blair HELLO for us!Google+