Whether you have a vast garden, a small and compact patio or just a window box to work with, planting some colourful plants is an option for all, as our Countryside PR Team explains. We share some of their favourite plants guaranteed to brighten up those dull, dark winter months ahead. Alongside planting your Crocuses, Snowdrops and Daffodils, winter colour doesn’t have to be traditional or boring!
Garden Space Galore
If you have the room, then filling your garden with impressive evergreen foliage and colour is easy and straightforward, ensuring you can enjoy the beauty of your garden all year round.
We feed the birds throughout the seasons, but to give them a little extra, we love the Pyracantha Orange Glow with its sturdy evergreen backdrop to its beautiful bright orange berries that birds love. It does have thorns so plant it away from high traffic areas and during the summer months enjoy watching the clusters of showy white flower blossom attract butterflies and bees to your garden.
How about an Evergreen Winter Flowering Clematis – our favourite is Clematis Cirrhosa Jingle Bells – not only for it’s the festive name but for its eye-catching, brilliant white bell-like flowers that adorn this climber.
If you like structure, the Cornus Midwinter Fire (Dogwood) is a shrub that just keeps giving all year round. The plant flowers in the late spring, then in the autumn, slowly reveals unusual flame-coloured stems that start as a superb yellow-orange colour with the tips turning brilliant red as time passes and can even be planted in pots for smaller gardens.
The Compact Patio
Pots are your best friend! Choosing a variety of different heights and sizes, you can instantly transform a drab paved space into an oasis of colour this winter. Our winters can be more wet than extremely cold, so make sure when you are planting up that you ensure each pot has good drainage, so the roots stay healthy and don’t rot. We have palms that live in our plant pots all year, and if we are expecting an unusually cold snap, we cover them up. They are positioned against the office outside wall so get the benefit of being sheltered, but they seem to do well and make a beautiful centrepiece to planting colour around each.
One of our favourite winter plants is the Helleborus or ‘Winter Rose’. These beautiful plants have evergreen foliage and long-blooming colour and come in a variety of colours to add colour and interest way into the spring months.
Heuchera Plum Royale has the most beautiful plum ruffled foliage in the winter and adds a dash of colour to your patio pots with ease.
We also love Hebe Heartbreaker with its flush of deep and vivid pink during the winter months and into the summer months, it transforms into a lush dark green with cream edging – a spectacular compact shrub and a favourite amongst our countryside PR team.
The Gardenia Jasminoides ‘Klemis Hardy’ is another beautiful frost hardy evergreen that produces highly fragrant flowers and is perfectly compact, so ideal for pots or borders.
Place your pots direct view of glass patio doors and windows so you can enjoy them to the full throughout the winter months.
The Window Box Wonderland
Winter flowering heather is a super addition to your window box, and you can get it in a variety of colours; pink, white and purple. We love teaming evergreen foliage with Cyclamen flowers. These beautifully delicate flowers look beautiful in a sheltered window box and also come in a variety of colours to give your window boxes a boost of welcome colour.
Viola Teardrops Pink Blush are stunning as a cascade of colour from your window boxes or pots. They flower from January through to April and really add some glorious seasonal colour and cheer.
Our Window boxes also love the Skimmia Japonica Rubella, which is a dwarf hardy evergreen shrub that produces white flowers in the spring and vibrant red buds in the winter months. It has aromatic leaves and is such an easy plant to care for (we do forget to water them regularly, but they continue to survive!).
With so much winter-flowering choice, you do, however, need also to consider the safety and well-being of your pets. Plants from the bulb family can be very toxic to pets, as are berries. The pretty Hellebore is also very harmful to pets if eaten. If unsure, then check with your garden centre before purchasing and planting. The Dogs Trust has this helpful list of poisonous plants, garden and household substances.