Winter is sliding in slowly this year, at least here at the Maryland-Pennsylvania border. We have now placed most of our plants under winter protection using our poly-covered cold frames and straw bales to protect their root zones. Once temperatures stay routinely below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, most locally adapted plants remain dormant until spring warmth brings them back to active growth.
It’s time to enjoy the wintertime beauty of plants. Winterberry and American hollies will delight you from now through the holidays with their striking berry displays, as will many of the viburnums. The bark characteristics of musclewood, ninebark, hickory, beech, white oak and birch are textural eye candy and tactile delight. The dry winter habits of grasses, goldenrod, milkweed, Eupatorium, Clematis, Joe Pye, Rudbeckia and sumac are enjoyable to look at and food for many of the seed eating birds.
The latest news on health is something that we have known intuitively all along. To keep your brain, heart and other parts strong, stay active. So spend some time outside. Visit your garden and see what is about. On one recent rainy day, we saw a pileated woodpecker, blue herons, a female cardinal and bluebirds, all within one hour. Check out a local park or other public space and see what the plants, squirrels, birds and people are doing. If you are in the neighborhood, you are welcome to stop by our nursery and go for a hike through our fields, forests or wetlands. Check out the hawks, herons and bluebirds. You might even see an eagle as there are 2 residents in the area.
And, if you are interested, late fall is still a good time to plant. The lower temperatures, and reduced water loss make fall a good time for installing any deciduous or dormant plant. We have a number of native Rhododendrons, maples, beech, musclewood, oaks, dogwoods, redbuds, hollies, hazelnuts, buckeyes arbor vitae, bald cypress, and other species.
Our address is 5200 West Heaps Road, Pylesville, MD 21132. (410) 836-0500