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Tuesday, December 18, 2018 AnnualsFallWinter

Santa's Garden Plan

If Santa had a garden (yes, I’m sure it would be difficult at the North Pole, but play along with me), what plants do you think he’d grow?

Obviously, he’d have some colorful houseplants for his workshop including poinsettia, Christmas cactus, and Colorful Aglaonema. All these plants would add an extra dose of holiday cheer and provide an extra dose of oxygen for his hard-working Elves.

Santa would probably have a bit more of a challenge with an outdoor garden, but if he’s as smart as I think he is, I’m sure he’d spent his idle summer months making a list of perennials and annuals that keep things colorful right through Christmas day, especially for the little boys and girls who live in Southern states.

Probably at the top of Santa’s list is pink muhly grass (Muhlenbergia capillaris) (above). This gorgeous North American native grass thrives in hot, sunny, conditions and is tough enough to tolerate salt spray. An easy-care perennial, it sports handsome blue-green foliage all summer long that can reach 3 to 4 feet in height. In the late fall each plant shoots up quantities of frothy, pink flower heads that hold their color until Christmas, especially in the Deep South. A bed of pink muhly grass surrounds Santa in a north Florida park just three weeks before he departs in his sleigh.

Before takes flight, though, here’s another list he might find useful as he plans his winter garden.

Annuals that thrive in cool weather would also play a starring role in Santa’s garden. Pansy, sweet alyssum, osteospermum, dusty miller, flowering cabbage and kale, and snapdragon are just a few that he should have on his list. All of these wonderful plants bloom their heads off even after a light frost and will maintain their color through the holidays in southern gardens.

Check out some great ideas about how to use these cold-tolerant beauties in your garden (don’t let Santa have all the fun!).

Written by:
Doug Jimerson

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