The secret to a beautiful garden is knowing what to plant and when. Here are 15 seasonal winter plants you can use to sprinkle colour across even frosty flowerbeds.
Abeliophyllum distichum—’white forsythia’
Delicate white flowers bloom on bare stems in late winter, creating a fragrant, fountain-like appearance of cascading petals perfectly at home in frost and snow alike. Height 2m.
Daphne mezereum—’February daphne’
Purplish-pink petals aren’t the only colourful aspect of this hardy shrub, which often produces clusters of vivid red berries throughout the autumn. Note this plant is as alluring as it is toxic, so steer clear if you have small children. Height 1.5m.
Hamamelis × intermedia—’witch hazel’
Available in wide range of varieties, from reds, yellows, golds and oranges to spreading crowns and vase-shaped habits. They all haveone thing in common: winter flowering, from December through to March. Height 1.8–3m.
Small, fragrant white flowers appear from autumn onwards. In certain lights this plant’s leaves can appear almost silvery, complementing your frost-tipped lawn or patio and bringing a little winter magic into your garden. Height 4.5-6m.small, silvery white flowers between October and January. Height 2.4-4.5m.
A large plant with spikes or cones or yellow flowers in November and December. This broad, imposing plant is ideal as a hardy garden centrepiece the year round. Height 3-4.5m.
This variety really comes into its own in the winter months, offering silky flowerheads pale yellow in colour heavily speckled with maroon. Even the leaves are glossy with a warming bronze tint. Place near wall-side borders to help them climb. Height 4m.
The creamy yellow of Balearica’s petals contrasts with the purple/maroon flecks, producing a small, elegant flower between November and March. Height 4m.
A pretty white flower capable of withstanding the worst that winter can throw at it with a smile. Grows in clusters, with proud stems that hold the flowers above the foliage. As its name suggests, it starts flowering in December. Height 30-45cm.
Iris unguicularis—’Algerian isis’
Fragrant, luxurious, and marked by deep lilac petals with white and yellow “feather” patterns, this is a breathtaking flowercapable of elevating any winter display with its bold colouration and air of majesty. Height 22cm.
Make sure you’ve got the right tools for the job.
Like anything these days, you’ll find most of these flowers are readily available online. But there’s still no substitute for visiting a garden centre or nursery and inspecting the flowers for yourself.
If this sounds like something you enjoy, we recommend Waterperry Gardens. Once home to the renowned Horticultural College, it now holds group tours and the opportunity to explore their beautiful grounds, from the Formal Garden and Waterlily Canal to a small arboretum, in the meadow area beyond.