You may be wondering what planting choices Horticulture is
using for the winter season. With the temperatures dipping into the 20s, it is
necessary to pull all our tender perennials (pentas and stachytarphyta) and
tropicals (bananas and palms). We are fortunate to have Greenhouses to house
our plant collection until they are needed again.
We prepare our annual beds by pulling weeds, adding a thin
layer of leaf compost and tilling to a depth of 6 – 8 inches. We then lay out
our annuals before planting to see if we need to add more.
You are in for a treat with this year’s winter annuals. We
have the safe, tried and true pansies and violas. But to give some height to
all containers and beds, we are using Snapdragons, dianthus, and calendula. A
new plant that we are trying is Stock. The colors come in a variety of white,
pinks, salmon and purples. They add a luscious vanilla scent to the air. To
augment with color and texture, we are adding Green Winterbor Kale, Giant Red
Mustard, Rainbow Swiss Chard, and Sweet Peas. We are using these as ornamental
plants even though they are edible. Can you think of others that can be used in
As you stroll through the Zoo this winter, keep your eyes on
all the annual beds and enjoy the colors, scents and crispness of winter.