Plant Preview

Welcome to Plant Preview, a blog dedicated to helping gardeners learn about gardening techniques and preview new plant cultivars. Read about new plants here first and hear how your "comrades in compost" are making use of new plant introductions in their gardens and landscapes. Blog author Geri Laufer is a life-long dirt gardener, degreed horticulturist, author and former County Extension Agent. Plant Preview is copyrighted by Geri Laufer.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Winter Solstice is a Balmy Planting Day in Atlanta

Although it is late December and the shortest day of the year, we are having an incredibly balmy day in #Atlanta. I was delighted to spend 3 hours outside this morning under a light mist (or perhaps it was inside a low-flying cloud), planting Japanese irises along the sometimes-wet dry creek bed, star magnolia in a prime spot, forsythia near the road, plus camellia, hardy ageratum, Chinese sacred lily, Italian arum and 2 huge native azaleas. O, the anticipation of spring.

Everything is green and still growing; in fact the hardy ginger already is sending up spring sprouts. Ferns are thriving, Amarcrinum and Crinum still green, lots of fall-blooming crocus still photosynthesizing. Herbs that I planted almost a week ago look great as they begin to make contact with the rich brown soil. 108 Helleborus x orientalis that I grew from seed  and put out as quarts this fall are each beginning to offer a new leaf. Left over from summer, I still have late roses, Encore azaleas, pink daisy mums and yellow ones in bloom, as well as camellias blooming for the first time.

After awhile even my and hair face felt a little green and mossy. So satisfying to breathe the good, rich earth smells and suck in the endorphins. What a lucky gardener I am, to live in Zone 7B.