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Gardening 101: Flowering Shrubs Provide Spring-Like Color During Cold Winter

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) - The drabness of winter can be a little depressing.

As we stretch through the early sundown and coldest days of January and February, I find myself longing for the color of spring to return.

There is a little balm for the winter blues, a trio of shrubs that you grow in your backyard to bring in a some much-needed color in the coldest of times.

In this weeks Gardening 101, we show you three shrubs that have one thing in common.

They produce flowers in the dead of winter. As odd as this is, they certainly stand out in the gray/brown palette that are the winter months.

Leatherleaf Mahonia not only produces a cluster of tiny flowers in January, but these flowers also become very attractive berries for the rest of the year.

These plants grow slow but like shade. They also produce a distinctive evergreen foliage.

Flowering Quince and Winter Honeysuckle also produce flowers in the season.

Honeysuckle is a very durable plant and, once established, is both drought tolerant and low maintenance.

It not only flowers through the winter but it also produces a powerful fragrance you likely have smelled before but probably on a summer night (all the other honeysuckle varieties bloom in the warm season).

Flowering Quince puts out a flower for only a couple of weeks in January, but the flowers are plentiful on the stems and a very bright red.

Both plants are rather tall, 6 feet to 8 feet.

They are also a little gangly and not the most attractive plant in the dead of summer.

But tucked away in a corner they do offer up a nice arching green plant to serve as a backdrop to the color of summer.

And when that summer and fall color fades away, your backdrop suddenly becomes the main show.

Just when you need it the most, in the dead dreary part of winter.

Next week I'm leaving the backyard to talk about a commercial enterprise of vegetable farming that is the future of agriculture. I can hardly wait to show it to you.

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