Funky Garden Plants 2

What's a perennial garden plant that blooms in the winter? A hellebore! It is an outdoor plant that is shocking to see blooming sometimes in the snow. There are many varieties. They are perennial which means they come back year after year.These are best planted in shady areas, but where they will get sun in the winter, for instance under leafed trees or something of that nature. What is so unusual about hellebores is that they bloom somewhere between Dec. and March. There are very few plants that do that! One variety is called a Christmas Rose. These plants usually must be puchased at a nursery. Check out your local nursery for this wonderful family of plants.

Another plant you'll surely want to try is called Sweet Annie. This is actually an annual herb, in the worm wood family. The seed is very fine and you sow it in direct sunlight in the spring after all danger of frost is gone. Sweet Annie can get up to 6 feet tall. It's fragrance is wonderful! My favorite use for Sweet Annie is in the fall to cut it to the ground and dry it. It can be used as wonderful, fragrant filler for dried flower arrangements, and it can also be bound with fine wire to form a wreath base of its own. Simply tuck in other dried flowers here and there around it and you've got a beautiful dried floral wreath with a fragrance to die for!

Another unusual one is called Kiss Me Over the Garden Gate. Yes, this really is the name of a plant! It's official name is Polygonum orientale. It's an old-fashioned annual knotweed used for bold effect. It has large heart shaped leaves and pendulous clusters of small pink flowers. In rich, moist soil and full sun it can go to six feet tall. Best to sow the seed in fall or early spring where it is to grow.

Lastly another unusual plant to try is the Balloon Flower. These are perennial, meaning they will return year after year. The latin name for these are: platycodon grandiflorus. They are very hardy, durable plants and very beautiful. Balloon flowers are about the size of a ping pong ball and look like little "balloons". Once they fully open up they split and you can see the center portion and the bloom then resembles a star. They usually come in shades of purple, pink and white. Very cute, the plants only get about 2 feet tall. Try one!

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By Valerie Garner-Visit Home Tips & More at

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