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Planting Information for:

The Winter's Tale


A plant having a woody & thorny or prickly stem; a thicket or tangled patch of such plants. A name for a number of unrelated thorny plants that form thickets such as blackberry brambles & brier roses.



CARNATIONDianthus caryophyllus

An herbaceous short-lived perennial with fragrant flowers in a variety of colors including white, pink, purple, red as well as striated. Now grown around the world in temperate Zones 3 ­– 9 in full sun & well drained neutral to slightly alkaline soil.

Plants should be kept moist, but never overwatered, and away from direct heat. Regular deadheading encourages long-season, prolific bloom.



CORK (Cork Oak) – Quercus suber

An impermeable buoyant material: the phellem, or outer protective layer of thick, rugged dead bark tissue of the cork oak tree, a very large hearty evergreen shade tree. Commonly grown in coastal regions worldwide in Zones 8 – 11, in a variety of soils. Impervious to salt spray, but cannot survive frost. The bark is harvested for commercial use—without harm to the tree—every 9 years. In that time the bark grows back.


CROWN IMPERIAL Fritillaria imperialis

A perennial flowering plant in the lily family, grown ‘round the world in Zones 5 – 9. Bloom life is short; the flower has a strong musky scent.

Plant bulbs on their sides, 5 inches deep, in a sunny location in autumn, in very well drained, even sandy, soil. Requires regular generous watering until the plant goes dormant. As with other bulbs, after the leaves die back, cut the stems to just above ground level.


CURRANTS – Coming soon!



CYPRESS – Coming soon!



Daffadowndilly, jonquil (in addition to what Shakespeare calls them)


A hardy perennial fall-planted bulb that grows in Zones 3 – 9, except in hot, wet environments. Daffodils sprout & bloom in late winter or early spring in shades and variegations of yellow, white, and orange. Full or part sun in very well drained, loamy soil that is slightly acidic to neutral. After flowering, the foliage will die back, but should never be cut away until it is completely withered, since the dieback process returns nourishment to the bulb which is stored for future seasons’ blossom.

Daffodils multiply by bulb division so should be divided and replanted every few years.



DATES (Date palms) – Phoenix dactylifera

The date palm is a flowering evergreen tree cultivated for its sweet fruit. It thrives in hot, dry climates, Zones 9 – 10; will grow in Zone 8 but will not produce fruit.

Trees reach up to 120’ high, can live for 100 years, and are tolerant of drought except during flowering & fruiting season. Their wide surface root system requires a very large planting area in sand, loam or even clay soil, but is not particular about pH levels.



FLAXLinum usitatissimum

A perennial plant cultivated since ancient times in Zones 5 – 9 in full sun and well-drained soil containing a good portion of organic matter. Valued for its nutrient-rich seed & for the textile fiber linen spun from its stalks.

The plants grow about 4’ high & bear pale blue flowers that become fruit containing glossy brown seeds that are ground into meal or processed into oil.




FRENCH: fleur-de-lis or fleur-de-lys – a stylized lily, widely thought to be a version of the species Iris pseudacorus, or Iris florentina

Iris florentina is the white flowered variant of Iris germanica

IRIS - Iris germanica


A genus of 260–300 hardy perennial species with showy flowers on long, erect stems & flat long leaves arranged fan-like from the rhizomes. In Zones 4 – 9 sited in at least 6 hours of sun a day in variably textured soil, slightly acidic to neutral & very well drained, while well watered. Rhizomes need a bit of sun & air to keep dry, so should not be completely covered with soil or crowded by nearby plants. Flowers bloom early to mid summer in shades of blue, orange, yellow, pink, white and multicolors; attracts butterflies & hummingbirds.



GARLICAllium sativum

A pungently flavored bulb consisting of multiple cloves, each of which grows into a full-sized bulb. Up to Zone 3 if there is no permafrost, plant in early to late September; in Zones 3 – 5 > plant in late September to early October; in Zones 5 – 7 plant in mid to late October—all in a sunny location with rich, well-drained neutral soil. Requires winter mulch protection in the northernmost zones. Growth may begin in late fall or early spring. Harvest garlic when the foliage yellows & dies back.



GINGERZingiber officinale

A flowering perennial whose root is used as a spice and a natural medicine. Reedy stalk grows three to four feet tall in warm, humid locations in Zones 9 – 12 in part shade—a few varieties can survive down to Zone 7, but must be protected from strong winds; harvested in the fall. Soil should be loose, rich & loamy, retaining some moisture, but draining well. Plants benefit from regular light misting.



IVYHedera helix

An evergreen climbing or ground-creeping woody plant native to Zones 3 – 8. Thrives in poor soil & deep shade, with moderate watering, which makes it a good groundcover under trees & in places where other plants will not grow well. Strong light is detrimental to the growth of ivy, but it will tolerate some sun.

As ivy climbs a tree, its height should be kept within reasonable bound so that it does not reach the canopy.




A perennial fragrant woody herb grown in relatively dry climates, Zones 5 – 9; valued for its fragrance & health benefits. Most species will not thrive in high humidity. It requires full sun & sharp drainage in average to slightly alkaline soil. Lavender should not be pruned severely; in late winter during its dormancy, no more than one third of the main stems should be cut back.



LILY/ LILY OF THE VALLEY Convallaria majalis

A sweetly fragrant flowering herbaceous perennial native throughout the cool temperate Northern Hemisphere, Zones 4 – 9, with cool winters. Full morning sun, then full shade in rich woodland slightly acidic soil that is well watered and well drained.

All parts of the plant are POISONOUS IF EATEN.



NUTMEG/MACE  Myristica fragrans

A spice from the seed & covering of a dark-leaved evergreen tree that originates in the spice islands of Indonesia; will grow in Zones 10 – 11 where the climate is hot, mostly sunny, and protected from wind. It prefers to be planted deep in rich neutral organic moist soil, well drained, with its roots planted at least 4  deep.




An annual herbaceous plant naturalized around the world in Zones 2 ­– 11. It is not fussy, requiring only full sun, moderately fertile soil, and regular watering. Regular deadheading keeps the plant blooming enthusiastically all summer & in warmer zones, into early fall.



MARJORAMOriganum majoricum

A tender perennial herb whose leaves are valued for seasoning (slightly similar to oregano, but sweeter). The plant is often used as a summer ground cover, and attracts beneficial insects. Tolerates any type of soil, but sandy, sharply drained is best; requires minimal watering in full sun to part shade in Zones 7 – 10.




A hardy perennial that is one of the first to arrive each spring in cool climates, and grows year-round in warmer areas, Zones 4 – 9. It thrives in full sun, but can tolerate part shade in consistently moist, slightly alkaline rich soil.  Mint is assertive -- or invasive, depending on where it is planted and how it is controlled. It sends out runners and spreads vigorously even if planted in containers.



NETTLES (Stinging Nettles) – Urtica dioica

A fast-growing perennial found worldwide in Zones 3 – 10. The stems and leaves are covered by structures that look like hairs, but are delicate & hollow. Handling or brushing against them produces a sting that can become a burning rash lasting up to 24 hours. (Rubbing nearby Dock leaves, crushed, can help alleviate the sting.)

Nettle requires rich & loamy, damp soil in full sun or part shade, especially in low areas.

(Also part of the English name of many plants with stinging hairs.)




Oak trees grow in temperate and tropical climates around the world. More than 600 species live for hundreds of years, slowly growing to reach 70’ with 9-foot-wide trunks.

Soils and conditions vary according to species, which include deciduous and evergreen, in fairly dry sites on ridges, slopes, and plateaus in Zones 2 – 10.

They produce acorns after their first 25 to 30 years of life.



OXSLIPPrimula elatior

A rare flower that blooms almost exclusively in the damp woodlands and meadows of East Anglia, England in the spring. It resembles an upright primrose, with pale yellow flowers that provide nectar for bees and butterflies. Its preferred soil is nutrient poor, but rich in calcium; often found growing in heavy clay or alkaline soil. They prefer partial shade or dappled sunlight. Zones 4 – 8; autumn is the best planting season (esp. if your winters are mild). Sprinkle the seeds on the surface of the soil—they won't germinate without sunlight. Often associated with ancient woodland.



PEAR (Warden) Pyrus

Zones 4 – 8 in cool, damp climates with cold winters. Pear trees require cross pollination; similar species should be planted together, about 20’ apart. They require full sun all day, in fertile well-drained soil, acidic to neutral, and good air circulation.

Trees can take 3 – 10 years to begin prolific fruit production.



PEAS (also called Squash) – Pisum sativum

An annual vine reaching up to 6’ in well-drained, slightly acid, moderately moist loamy soil rich in organic matter, producing pods that contain the edible seed; botanically, a fruit. Full sun in cool weather in Zones 2 – 9. They should be planted in very early spring, even while snow still threatens, and again in fall.




Evergreen conifers that include more than 150 species, mostly native to the Northern Hemisphere, from Zones 2 – 13, and with a few that grow in the tropics of the Southern Hemisphere. They are found in hot dry deserts and environments all the way to cold mountain elevations. Pine trees vary in height, with species reaching from 10’ – 150’ tall. They can live up to 1,000 years—a few even longer! They do well in sandy, acid soils that drain well; require moderate watering.



PRIMROSEPrimula vulgaris, Polyanthus hybrids

A flowering perennial that grows close to the ground. They are hardy in Zones 3 – 8, going dormant in winter, then emerging in early spring, blooming throughout summer, and into early fall in mild climates. Some prefer damp, woodland-like conditions; most do well in lightly shaded areas with well-drained soil, preferably rich in organic matter.


PRUNESPrunus, Prunus americana

Prunes are dried plums, a stone fruit named for the hard pits that cover the seeds. Plum trees grow in a wide variety of climates, Zones 3 – 8, depending on the species, but require a winter chill. They can reach 20’ – 40’ high. The tree requires full sun and well-drained, sandy slightly acidic soil that should be moist down to 24” below the surface.

Almost all plum trees require cross pollination; two more compatible varieties should be planted near one another. They will bear fruit after 4 - 6 years.



RAISINScultivars of Vitis vinifera

A raisin is a dried grape that is grown in many regions. It is usually from a dark-colored grape, but can result from other varieties. The grape is the fruit of a deciduous woody perennial vine grown in full sun in Zones 5 ­– 9, where the climate is hot & dry with mild winters and limited annual rainfall. The planting site should be in well-drained loose-textured slightly acidic soil with a balance of nutrients.



RICEOryza sativa or Oryza glaberrima

The seed of a cereal grass species that grows in rainy upland regions wherever nighttime temperatures stay above 60 degrees for at least 3 months of the year; usually tropical areas, where it is hot & humid year-round, Zones 9b – 10a. Rice is traditionally grown in flooded fields, but will grow in containers in a home garden provided it receives constant moisture in fertile, nitrogen-rich soil. Plants mature in 4 – 5 months, reaching a height of 3’, ready to harvest when the stalks turn yellow in early fall.



ROSES/DAMASK - Rosa × damascena

The Damask rose is a deciduous shrub, a type of Old Rose, growing to about 7’ tall, with fragrant flowers that bloom all season in colors from light pink to red. It requires full sun, with some shade in hot months. The soil types can vary, but must be rich & well drained, containing no chalk.  Roses typically grow in warm climates, Zones 6 – 9 —cannot withstand freezing temperatures, but some can survive in colder areas down to Zone 3 or in hot, moist climates.



ROSEMARYSalvia Rosmarinus (previously Rosmarinus officinalis)

A woody, perennial herb with fragrant, evergreen, needle-like leaves & white, pink, purple, or blue flowers. It is a culinary condiment, an ingredient in perfumes, and has some healthy benefits. Requires full sun in sharply drained, slightly alkaline loamy soil in a location that shelters it from harsh winter winds in Zones 8 and higher. Even in a protected location the plant may not survive a severe winter, especially if it’s in soggy soil.



RUE – Coming soon!



SAFFRONCrocus (Crocus sativus)

A spice derived from the flower’s crimson stigma & styles, called threads, are collected and dried for seasoning & coloring food. Plant fresh bulbs without delay in autumn 3 – 5” deep in well-drained moderately nutritious soil in full sun, Zones 3 – 8 or 9. Foliage appears in spring, then withers, and flowers appear the following fall. With minimal care the bulbs multiply rapidly. About 50 – 60 saffron flowers produce about 1 tablespoon of spice.



SAVORY - Satureja hortensis (summer savory); Satureja montana (winter savory)

A small, green plant with flavorful leaves. Savories require full sun & slightly alkaline soil. Summer savory prefers a rich, well-drained organic soil in Zones 1 – 11. Perennial winter savory prefers well-drained, sandy soil in Zones 5 – 11. It can tolerate heat, and holds up to cold as low as 10°.



SUGAR - Saccharum officinarum

From sugar cane (‎Saccharum officinarum), tropical grasses that grow in Zones 8b and warmer in full plentiful sunshine in many types of very fertile soil, well drained, but with a minimum of 24” annual moisture.




Thorns are sharp pointy projections from the branch of a plant, the purpose of which is to protect the plant from being eaten by herbivores. They are extensions or modifications of leaves, roots, stems or buds. Thorny species often bear showy flowers or bright berries, especially Roses (in Shakespeare’s case).



VIOLET - Viola odorata

Viola and violet are small-flowered annuals or perennials producing lightly fragrant — and edible — flowers of the same color (some varieties have white or yellow blooms). Most species are temperate Northern Hemisphere, Zones 3 ­– 8. Light shade, but fine in sunny locations. While they tolerate many soil types, wild violets prefer soil that is moist, yet well-draining, and rich in organic matter. Wild violets often self-seed, coming back each year in unexpected locations. The flowers that are low on the plant do not open, but instead produce and house seeds, allowing the plant to readily reproduce and become invasive.

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