A camellia seedling that came up by chance blooms in January to brighten the winter days

Camella's Blush azalea bears many beautiful pink winter buds, harbingers of the gorgeous pink, fragrant flowers to come in April.

Camella’s Blush azalea bears many beautiful pink winter buds, harbingers of the gorgeous pink, fragrant flowers to come in April.

There is so much beauty to enjoy in winter. If you are aware of which plants offer great color, fragrance, form and other treats in the season we think of as barren, then you will have much to enjoy.

Here are some suggestions, plants that will knock your socks off just when you are steeling yourself against the gray season of the gardener’s discontent.

* Taiwan Cherry, Prunus campanulata, grows to 20 feet tall and usually becomes a multi-trunked tree. It is stunning in any landscape where it can be grown.

The Taiwan cherri is hardy to Zone 7 and begins to show astonishing color in January.

The Taiwan cherry is hardy to Zone 7 and begins to show astonishing color in January.

* Camellias can be grown as far north as the warmer parts of Zone 5. Many more varieties grow in Zones 6-9.

A camellia seedling that came up by chance blooms in January to brighten the winter days

A camellia seedling that came up by chance blooms in January to brighten the winter days

Camellias are the showiest flowers of winter. They mostly display shades of pink, red and white in flowers ranging from single miniatures to 8-inch doubles in white and all possible colors of red and pink often striped and splotched with other colors. The evergreen shrubs grow from 3 feet to 20 feet tall. And leaves of most are deep, intense green.

Other great winter shows are produced by flowering apricots, Chinese witch hazels, coral bark maples, winter-blooming magnolias and many, many more.