by Michael W. Buffin
Here at the Scott Arboretum, we always consider what our garden areas look like in winter because that is when most of the College community is on campus to enjoy them. So, winter is anything but a bleak time at Scott. Many of the plants that bring the most spectacular blooms and interest during winter are the winter-flowering shrubs, most of which are discussed in detail in Michael Buffin’s book. While Buffin writes from England, he makes a point to comment on how these plants are grown here in the U.S. The book is split into 2 sections: designing for winter, and an A-to-Z guide to winter flowering shrubs. The plant guide is very complete and includes magnolias and witch hazels. The design section discusses winter pruning, hardiness zones, using stem and bark for winter interest, and an in-depth discussion of why plants bloom in the winter in the first place. I have found this book to be invaluable when learning about plants that bloom during the winter here at Scott and it is a wonderful tool to have when planning your garden for winter interest.
Check this book out at the Scott Horticultural Library.