Amy Dixon Special Correspondent
As gardeners, we constantly seek to create beautiful and balanced spaces, ultimately aiming to imitate nature as closely as possible.
Sharpening and refining our gardens is a mandatory act, an act where we listen to our plants, respond to their needs and make changes to help them grow and reach their full potential.
Part of this cycle is bringing nature indoors, where we can enjoy the flowers, scents and colors from the comfort of our air-conditioned homes. Of course, spring and summer offer a plethora of options for cut flowers, but winter has its own set of botanical treasures. During the winter months, we can see the beauty of the bare stems, hues and textures of bark. Flower buds are more impatient and unfolded flowers appear warmer.
During those colder, darker months, having freshly cut stems in our homes helps brighten things up a bit, setting us up until spring. From early winter to early spring, there are many ornamental shrubs and trees that provide stunning flowers and branches for indoor arrangements and vases.
Late varieties of camellia sasanqua, mahonia, witch hazel and a few viburnum are now blooming. Once cut, flowering stems will last for several days in a block of water or oasis – some may even last a few weeks.
Camellias are perhaps the most visible flowering shrub this time of year, as Camellia sasanqua begins to overlap with Japanese camellias (Camellia japonica). Sasanquas bloom from late summer to early winter and Camellia japonica bloom from winter to early spring.