If you are looking for winter herbs to keep your culinary garden productive all year long, we’ve got a great list for you.Common thyme (T. vulgaris) is the most widely available variety sold in nurseries and garden centers.Thyme is a member of the mint family and is a hardy perennial that can survive a deep freeze.Give your thyme a sunny location and well-draining soil and it will continue to grow all year long.It is a low growing spreading in form, so give it a larger space in the perennial herb garden.These include Orange Balsam, Woolly, Creeping Pink, Juniper, Lime, Mint, Elfin, and Lavender Thyme.Mint is used in desserts, teas, jellies and vegetables, and main courses like lamb.Flavored mints, like chocolate or orange, are becoming more readily available in local garden centers.Mint is a hardy perennial which means it survives over the winter months without added protection.Mint prefers rich, moist soil and partly sunny location.If mint is grown in too much sun, it can dry out the soil too quickly and fry the leaves.Move the pot into a shady location, keep the soil moist and more often than not, the plant will come back.Oregano is considered a tender perennial, so while it can overwinter in the garden it may need some protection in colder climates, depending on the variety.Greek Oregano (O.Vulgare Hirtum) is another popular culinary variety but is most often grown as an annual.Grow French tarragon in full sun and water only occasionally as it prefers slightly drier soil.Hollow tall green stalks grow in clumps with bright purple or blue flower balls on top.Lemon Balm is a hardy perennial that grows to about two and a half feet tall.Grow parsley in moist soil and a partly sunny location in the garden.But sage is equally nice in sausages, Italian meats, and cheeses or even as a condiment.Sage has light greyish green leaves and is best when used fresh, so harvest just before you are ready to use it.A mature plant will spread up to 2 feet wide, so give it ample space in the garden bed.A low-growing bushy herb, winter savory is a good addition to the border of the garden.Winter Savory has a strong spicy flavor and can be used in the same dishes as oregano, thyme, and basil.It is a nice choice to plant in smaller areas since it grows just one foot tall.Add fresh leaves to season fish, salads, stuffings sauces, and eggs.These will stay green year-round and while they may not grow much in colder weather, you can still harvest them in moderation for use in recipes.Bay and rosemary are also evergreen herbs that may overwinter outdoors with a little extra protection.Chives and parsley can stay green well into the fall depending on your gardening zone.Bring a few pots inside and create an indoor container herb garden.


Evergreen Groundcover Plants: 20 Choices for Year-round Interest

This leaves the ground bare and exposed, opening it up to potential weed issues and soil erosion.All year long, their green shoots help diffuse heavy rain and snowfall before it hits the soil.And one last benefit of using evergreen varieties of groundcovers: they act as a living mulch, constantly shading the soil and limiting weed seed germination.While pachysandra, ivy, and myrtle/periwinkle are among the most common evergreen groundcover plants, you’ll notice all three of them are absent from the list of varieties I’m about to introduce you to.Here is a list of multiple groundcover varieties that fit into each of these three categories, along with growing information for each selection and a photo when possible.Wall germander grows 1-2 feet tall and is hardy to -20 degrees F. Oh, and the deer don’t like it, making it a favorite, if underused, evergreen groundcover for gardens.There are dozens of species and cultivars of thyme that make a hardy groundcover that stays green all winter long.Plus, they produce open, blousy blooms in the summer that come in a wide range of colors, depending on the species and variety.While avoiding contact is a must (those spines hurt and they’re difficult to remove), if you have the right place for them, Opuntias are a real gem.This clump-forming evergreen groundcover is ideal for sloped sites or for garden beds under large trees with extensive root systems.Varieties with a solid green leaf are pretty, but I find the variegated form to be extra special.Hardy down to -30 degrees F, and reaching about 6 inches tall, lilyturf produces spires of purple flowers in the spring.Some of my favorites are Dragon’s Blood, Blue Spruce, and Lime Twister® because of their interesting foliage and flower colors.These ground-hugging sedums are evergreen in climates with milder winters, and semi-evergreen down to -20 degrees F.

Reaching just 4 inches tall, they’re covered in blooms in late summer through fall.Once an exceedingly popular garden plant, candytuft seems to have fallen out of favor in recent years, for some unknown reason.What’s not to love about an evergreen groundcover that spreads relatively fast, is covered with clusters of white flowers, is adored by pollinators, and is hardy down to -30 degrees and perhaps beyond?Standing just 8 to 10 inches tall and producing spires of blue-purple flowers each spring, this evergreen groundcover is showy and colorful even when it isn’t in bloom.This excellent evergreen groundcover is also fun to use in between stepping stones and around the base of trees, instead of using shredded bark, gravel, or other mulches.If you’re worried about potential invasiveness, stick with one of the variegated forms of this plant (such as ‘Variegatus’, ‘Emerald Gaiety’, and ‘Gold Splash’) as they aren’t nearly as aggressive.Hardy to -30 degrees F, wintercreeper forms a thick, leafy mat that reaches 10 inches tall.Reaching about 18 inches in height, creeping juniper varieties are resistant to both deer and rabbits, and require very little maintenance.The soft sprays of green leaves on rock cotoneaster make this one of the loveliest of all evergreen groundcover plants.Plus, in the spring, small, white to pink flowers are produced all along the stems, followed by red berries in the fall.There are several different cultivars of rock cotoneaster, but all reach just 2 to 3 feet in height, making them a great choice to cover sloped areas of the garden.Though they aren’t grown for their flowers, hens and chicks do occasionally produce spires of colorful blooms in summer.Various cultivars are available in a wide range of foliage colors and forms, but none grows taller than about 8 to 10 inches in height.With its arborvitae-like needles and soft texture, Siberian cypress is a shrubby evergreen groundcover for shady areas.These plants make serious slope covers for shady garden sites and are hardy down to -40 degrees F. Mine reach about 18 inches in height.White flowers are produced along arching, creeping stems in the spring, followed by small inedible fruits.Reaching just 6 inches in height, creeping raspberry is hardy down to -10 degrees F and will show some dieback during particularly cold winters.Unlike traditional pachysandra, this plant does not develop issues with scale insects, though leaf blight can sometimes strike.Tolerant of even the shadiest sites, European ginger reaches 6 inches tall and is hardy down to -30 degrees F.

The blooms are nondescript, and the leaves are deer resistant. .

Keep Herbs Alive and Well in Winter With These 5 Tactics

Cold-hardy herbs, such as chives, mint, oregano, parsley, sage and thyme, can often survive cold-winter temperatures while continuing to produce flavorful foliage, as long as they are provided with some protection or grown indoors.Herbs 1: Bachman’s Landscape Design – Tom Haugo, original photo on Houzz.Herbs 2: Home & Garden Design, Atlanta – Danna Cain, ASLA, original photo on Houzz.Covering herbs helps trap the heat that rises from the soil, elevating the temperature inside by several degrees.Cold frames are topped with glass panes that slope downward and are situated so they face south.Place each one over individual herb plants and nestle the bottom inch or two of the cloche into the soil to anchor it.Many herbs can grow through the winter under the insulation provided from straw, shredded bark or other coarse mulch.Cut them back to 1 inch tall and, using a sharp shovel, divide them at their base, making sure to include the roots so each one will fit into the container.Herbs can be grown from seed or cuttings and make a great addition to a sunny kitchen window that gets at least six hours of sunlight.The rewards of growing herbs indoors throughout the winter are great when the fresh flavor of summer is within arm’s reach.This is a useful way to prolong the harvest, whether you bring in cuttings from the garden or buy fresh herbs at the grocery store.Simply cut the ends of each stem and put them in a small jar or cup filled with water. .

6 Winter Ground Covers You Never Thought to Grow

As fall marches on and winter is just around the corner, it’s important to remember that your landscape can stay quite beautiful even when the temperature dips below zero.I’m talking about a group of less-common, low-growing groundcovers that have made a home in my own garden, smothering it with blooms in the summer and color and texture in the winter.Ajuga, commonly called bugleweed, is a fast, yet controlled, spreader that prefers full to partial shade.I grow a tricolored variety called Burgundy Glow that’s a lovely blend of pink, green and white foliage.Smothered in pure-white flowers in spring, this plant remains a rich, deep green all winter long.Variegated, wooly, creeping, wild, lemon-scented and English thyme varieties all thrive in hot, sunny areas with well-drained soil.Thyme does best when given a regular haircut, so harvest as much as you want for the kitchen early in the season and then let the plant develop lots of new growth before winter sets in.The dark green, strap-like leaves of lilyturf remain evergreen through most of the winter, though sometimes mine turns brown around the leaf margins just before spring arrives.In spring it bears yellow, star-shaped flowers and in the cooler temperatures of fall and winter the foliage turns a beautiful reddish-amber color. .

11 Plants that Stay Green in Winters

You can grow these versatile broadleaf plants on hedges, patio, entryways, and garden borders that receive sufficient sunlight.Colorado blue spruce is one of the best winter garden plants that look beautiful wrapped in snow.It presents a unique, silver blue-green color all year round and grows in a pyramidical shape.Apart from that, you can grow the dwarf form of blue spruce in small gardens, patios, and terraces.Blue spruce requires a large area and at least six hours of direct sunlight.Hollies belong to the ilex genus of plants, from the family Aquifoliaceae that includes 480 evergreen and deciduous species, many of them having striking green leaves.You can grow a variety of holly trees for creating a hedge or can also use them as a barrier plant.Also famously known as the lenten rose, hellebore is an ideal choice for winter garden, as it flowers in the darkest month of the year.Bring it indoors during the hot months, to keep the plant safe from the harsh heat of summers.Pieris japonica is a broad-leaved evergreen shrub that stays green during the entire winters.In spring, new foliage grows in red, turning dark green in winters.Water the plant once a week sufficiently in summers and fall to secure it in winters.Honeywort is also known as a blue shrimp plant, which is native to the Mediterranean region.The leaves of honeywort plants become deep blue when the outside temperature gets colder.In the beginning, these plants require slightly more water, though once mature, they can survive infrequent droughts.Partridge berry is a low maintenance showy plant, ideal for your winter garden.It produces white fragrant flowers with attractive foliage and scarlet berries.Sweet alyssum is a cool-season flower that can be grown during fall and winter in frost-free climates.Also known as ‘Smaragd’ in the Danish language (which means emerald), this cultivar was originally evolved in Denmark.It is a semi-dwarf variety, with a narrow pyramid structure that maintains the vibrant green color of its foliage in winters as well.‘Emerald’ arborvitae thrives in full sunlight but can survive in partial shade as well. .


Walk across a carpet of thyme, and you will understand why European settlers brought it to the United States and why it continues to be one of the most beloved herbs in the garden.The upright types grow into small shrubs, while the creeping ones contain a variety of flower and foliage colors.Thyme is evergreen throughout much of the South?you can harvest culinary types for soups, stews, stocks, bouquets garnis, vegetables, and meat dishes all winter long.Its evergreen foliage provides anchor in an herb garden in winter and varies in color from dark green to silver and gold to variegated.In early spring, the flowers open, sprinkling the plant with spots of white, pink, lavender, or rose.Plant creeping selections as edgings or ground covers, between paving stones, or along rock walls.It is drought tolerant and thrives in the superior soil and good drainage provided in a container.Mulch to conserve moisture, but add a ring of builder's sand around the crown to prevent root rot.Given proper growing conditions, thyme will need little care besides a regular light pruning, starting in the spring, to prevent it from becoming woody and brittle.Both types are edible, but creeping thymes are usually small and tedious to harvest and are therefore more valuable as ground covers.Caraway has a neat growth habit that requires minimal pruning; however, the plant spreads rapidly.Mother-of-thyme (Thymus praecox Arcticus), also called creeping thyme, grows 3 to 5 inches tall and is used primarily as an ornamental.Add thyme to any slow-cooked dish (especially soups and stews) and to sautéed vegetables, broiled or roasted meat or poultry, breads, and sauces. .

Evergreen Herbs: Lavender, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme – Fafard

A suite of favorites from the Mediterranean stay green, keeping our gardens looking pretty and our food tasting good.Rather than being herbaceous perennials, meaning they die to the ground in winter and stem from the earth in spring, these herbs are actually shrubs and subshrubs.They require pruning to maintain their good looks and vigorous growth, and if the cold and winter sun becomes too harsh and they are not protected, their stems will die.Valued as a garden and landscape beauty, as well as an aromatic and culinary herb, lavender has both lovely foliage and pretty summer flowers.This evergreen plant originates from the mountain ranges of Spain, France, and Italy where it exists in open, rocky, alkaline soils.Its summer flowers, may be lavender blue, purple or white, exist in elongated clusters atop long, thin stems.This lavender can survive in zones 5-8, but in the colder end of its hardiness, the stems often experience winter desiccation and damage.It’s broad, dusty gray leaves smell pungent when crushed, and in early summer, stems of pretty violet-blue flowers appear.Native to the Mediterranean and Caucasus, it grows in rocky sandy soils and can withstand the salt spray of the seashore.Well-drained soils and sites protected from harsh winter weather will help plants make survive the cold.The highly prostrate, fuzzy-leaved wooly thyme (Thymus pseudolanuginosus) is very pretty planted along a stone walkway or along a rock wall.Mother-of-thyme (Thymus serpyllum) is a northern European species that also produces masses of pink flowers in spring and makes groundcover. .

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