Gardening in the South, especially in the winter, can be a serious challenge.
I write this sitting by the fire, just a few days after my birthday and a few days prior to Christmas. December is a magical month for me, for obvious reasons, but for someone like me who would choose flowers over food, a winter garden can be a real challenge. If I had to give one piece of winter gardening advice, it would be that camellias are a MUST. Of the camellia flower family, there are early bloomers and late bloomers. If you get a few of both you can ensure a beautiful bloom throughout many of the cold winter months. While camellias are not known to be great cut flowers since they do not last very long, if you float them you can get a few fabulous days of indoor color. In my house, I use a shallow silver tray, fill it with water, clip a few sprigs of evergreen (holly, podacarpus, or rosemary), lay them in the tray, and then place the camellias. The greenery will keep the bloom above the water and the final display will be stunning. Mix this with a few tea light candles all around and winter will never have looked so beautiful.
Enjoy and stay warm.