Author Linda Cobb
Master Gardener Linda Cobb

Linda Cobb is a garden writer and certified Master Gardener who lives in Spartanburg, South Carolina. She is the author of My Gardener's Guide: Easy Steps to a Better Garden.

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Garden Notes January 2006

Looking for some new plants to jazz up your garden for Spring? Read on to see the list of Suppliers with Great Catalogs for some great arm chair gardening during the winter months.

This is the time that gardeners are suppose to read, browse those garden catalogs, and plan for the spring that is to come.  The garden needs a rest time.  I use this time to take inventory every January of what I have grown and how it did.  I have big plans for spring and by the looks of the new plant introductions, I am going to be busy buying a lot of seed.

January chores in the garden include cutting down the spent perennial flower heads that went to seed. Also you can begin to tidy up in the garden. February will be right along behind January.  You will be chomping at the bit to get outside.  Do not be too hasty.  Inspect all of your pruning shears, sharpen them and keep them rust free.  Take a look at all of the rakes and shovels too. I will be getting a list together for my local seed and feed store to order all of my ingredients that I need for my perennial feed formula and my rose feed formulas. 

Let’s talk about some plants to consider for spring.  Knockout roses are fast taking over for the easy to do garden.  I am a die hard English rose grower, but I am going to have to give a round of applause to the Knockout rose.  It is pretty, but it will never be a cutting specimen for the flower vase.  But who cares?  It still looks great from the road and grows where no other rose will grow.  So what is coming next?  Of course it is the Double Knockout rose.  This wonder rose is a double, still fights off disease, and is drought tolerant.  It grows to about 3 feet, and is bushy and compact.

For a plant that is very unusual look up ‘Electric Blue’ corydalis (corydalis elata).  This plant blooms a vivid blue flower on green and bright gold fernlike foliage.  This is an upright mounding plant that grows to about 15 inches tall and 12 inches wide.  It blooms in late spring or early summer.  It like moist well drained soil in part sun.  I think that this would be a perfect plant to grow in a large container.  Corydalis do well in containers, and this plant will literally light up any space it is in.  Look it up at to find a retailer near you. 

For all you astilbe fans, there is a new variety called ‘Color Flash’ astilbe.  This plant has nice blush pink blooms, but it’s real claim to fame is the foliage that is multicolored.  New leaves emerge in bright green, then mature to a rich burgundy and royal purple!  Can you imagine the wonderful color spectrum?  This plant id great in a border or in a mass planting, and it loves part shade.  Look it up at

Plan your new garden bed now when you are idle.  Spring is not too far way and you can design a simple bed easily.  I am including my list of favorite catalog suppliers.  Call and get each one of these catalogs.  They are great.

Suppliers with Great Catalogs

1. David Austin English Roses
Tyler, Texas

2.  Heronswood Nursery
Kingston, Wa

3.  Wayside Gardens
Hodges, SC

4.  Park Seed Co
Greenwood, SC

5. Bluestone Perennials
Madison, Ohio

6.  White Flower Farm
Litchfield, Ct

7.  Jackson & Perkins

8.  Arena Roses
Paso Robles, Ca

9.  Burpee Seed
Warminster, Pa

Posted by Linda on Dec 13, 2005

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