Magazine article Sunset

What to Do in Your Garden in January

Magazine article Sunset

What to Do in Your Garden in January

Article excerpt

PLANTING

* Azaleas and camellias. Sunset climate zones 7-9, 14-17: Winter and spring months are good times to shop for blooming azaleas and camellias. Don't let the flower color alone determine your choices, though; before purchasing a plant, make sure it's healthy and its leaves are lush and green. Avoid plants that have pale leaves, overly leggy growth, or roots protruding through drain holes.

* Maples. Zones 2, 7-9, 14-17: The following small- to moderate-size trees are perfect for home gardens. Acer truncatum (also grows in zone 1): Deeply lobed, 4-inch-wide leaves start out purplish red, change to green in summer, then become orangish and maroon in fall; grows to 25 feet or taller. Japanese maple (A. palmatum): Many varieties to choose from, including ones with deeply cut leaves or variegated foliage; heights range from 7 to 20 feet tall. Paperbark maple (A. griseum): Leaves are dark green above, silvery below, and turn brilliant red in fall; reddish-brown bark peels away in thin sheets in winter; grows to 25 feet tall. Look for these trees in nurseries, or order by mail from Mendocino Maples Nursery (www.mendocinomaples.com or 707/937-1189) or Wildwood Farm Nursery & Sculpture Garden (www.wildwoodmaples.com or 707/833-1161).

* Strawberries. Zones 7-9, 14-17: 'Sarian' strawberry is a new variety that produces sweet, medium-size fruit from midsummer until fall the first year after planting. You can start plants from seed ($2.49 from Renee's Garden, www.reneesgarden.com) or buy organically grown seedlings ($2.95 each from Natural Gardening Company, www.naturalgardening.com or 707/766-9303).

* Summer-blooming bulbs. For unique varieties of begonias, dahlias, gladiolus, lilies, and other summer bloomers, order bulbs by mail now. The following sources sell all types: Antonelli Brothers Begonia Gardens (http://antnelli.infopoint.com or 888/423-4664), Dutch Gardens (www.dutchgardens.com or 800/944-2250), and McClure & Zimmerman (www.mzbulb.com or 800/883-6998). For dahlias only, try Swan Island Dahlias (www. …

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