Claudine Young

Master Gardener

Take a winter stroll and look for green. Green in the landscape is especially cheering in January and February and it is out there. Slow down, breathe deeply and walk around your yard and enjoy the green blessings.

Always, there is Rosemary, pause and run your hands along a branch; enjoy its fragrance. Sometimes, too plentiful but faithful, is the Butter and Eggs, Oxalis and Violets. Master Gardeners Myra Lewis, of Godley, Ben Oefinger of Cleburne and Joan Leach of Burleson all mentioned their Roses. The Old Garden and Earth Kind Roses bloomed until the hard freeze, but are still green. Joyce Block of Alvarado has Wood Violets blooming at her front door. My “Rainbow” Knockout Rose is still covered in tiny rose hips.

Joan Leach grows and harvests Rosemary, Oregano, Thyme and Sage throughout the winter. There are the soft velvety plants of the herb Mullein with Wormwood lending a different texture in one of my beds.

Columbines in the shady areas are still a vibrant light green. Their bloom time is not ever long enough, but just a glance at the Columbines in winter and the heart fills with hope that spring will come again. Yes, they are worthy of their space.

“Pink Lemonade” Honeysuckle is an improved variety that blooms a little throughout the summer and is still lending its soft hues to the landscape. Green Santolina is strikingly green and the Grey Santolina is a beautiful mound. Garlic Chives is sending up slender young threads and the gold and silver Chrysanthemum pacificum is pretty and even presenting a post Christmas bloom. Diane Asberry, a Master Gardener at Godley, reports Ice Plant blooming. Plants of Salvia greggii, Red and Softleaf Yucca, Gaura, Veronica s. ‘Royal Candles’, Blackfoot Daisy and Fennel are still green in her yard. Diane says, “The garden isn’t as pretty as it is in warmer months but it isn’t all dead either.”

Master Gardener, Monty Swatzell, says that he can always depend on Cast Iron Plant, (Aspidistra) and Mondo. Yarrow is a plant that Sharon Bates enjoys in the winter, with its fern like fronds of green. Paul Murphy said, “Don’t forget Paperwhite Narcissus. Nothing matches their crisp, fragrant blossoms and their ability to banish the winter doldrums.” Ben Oefinger also mentioned their Evergreen Clematis and that spring blooming bulbs are peeping out. Ben also has Italian Cardoon, a member of the artichoke family. I planted Cilantro for the first time this year and it even survived the ice storm and is still growing.

Note the plants that are living and green, like the Columbines, Santolinas, Aspidistra, Artemisia, Rosemary and many of the herbs like Cilantro. These are the plants that we will want to include in future plantings, as we think about the landscape in winter.  Master Gardener, Karen Walker says that she has….WEEDS!  Oh, dear, I do believe I have a few of those, too. Karen, just look the other way, where the Dianthus are blooming.

For more information on this or any gardening question contact the Johnson County Master gardener Association at or Pat Kriener 817-793-4625.

Hey want to learn about gardening and join a wonderful group of people call about the upcoming Master Gardener classes this spring. Deadline to register is Feb 20.

Don’t forget the JCMGA Plant Sale March 28, Hulen Park, Cleburne.