Winter can be a depressing time for the garden, with the leaves already fallen from many trees and summer blooms long since gone. However with careful planting the successful gardener can still add a splash of colour to the garden by talking advantage of winter flowing varieties and architectural plants.
Plant Winter Flowering Plants
Whilst many plants flower in the spring and summer there are still many plants which will provide flowers in the depths of winter. For a flowering tree a gardener may select Prunus Autumnalis. This is a winter flowering cherry. The tree will flower a white blossom right the way through from November until March when the spring flowing varieties blossom.
There are also a number of shrubs which will add colour to the garden during the winter. Winter flowering heathers and heaths will bring a plethora of small bell shaped flowers to the garden; a range of colours are available including pinks, whites and purples. In addition heathers and heaths also have a wide range of attractive foliage colours, foliage ranges from silvery grey through to fiery oranges as well as the more traditional green. Winter Jasmine provides a vibrant splash of yellow to the garden from December through to March, whilst not a true climber the plant is often used in such a fashion. If this is done the gardener is rewarded with a water fall effect of flowers.
Finally there are the winter bedding plants, often annuals planted solely to provide a splash of colour during the middle of winter and removed in the subsequent spring. Varieties suitable for such a use include winter flowering varieties of Viola and Pansies. Sweet Alyssum also makes a welcome addition to the garden providing a mass of small flowers over a spreading area.
Architectural plants with Winter Interest
The following plants have their main season of interest in earlier parts of the year, despite this some features of the plants still maintain an architectural level of interest especially in snow, ice or frost ridden conditions.
Plants with architectural remnants of the flowering season look particularly attractive in cold weather conditions. Such plants include forms of Hydrangea with “mop-head” style flowers, many forms of poppy with woody seed heads and varieties of rose which form “rose hips”.
Other plants with architectural interest, which will maintain interest into the winter include the ever greens. Plants in this group range from the commonly found Box through to rarer specimens such as the Japanese Umbrella Pine. Other specimens with architectural interest include those with coloured barks. Suitable candidates range from a variety of coloured stems provided by the Dog Wood family through to the brilliant white bark of the Silver Birch or the deep red of various forms of cherry such as Prunus Serrula.