As the darker nights set in and temperatures plummet, many of us will have put our gardens to bed for the year and maybe missing the colour and texture of our spring and summer gardens. But just because it’s winter, doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy our gardens for six months.
Here are tips on some winter plants to keep some colour in your garden over the colder months.
This edible flower is a great addition to your planters, winter hanging baskets , window boxes or to provide a pop of colour at your garden entrance. They can survive in surprisingly low temperatures and with some frost-protection including mulch or pine straw, these colourful plants will happily provide you with some winter coverage. These are best planted in late winter, and they will be fully flowering for early spring.
Although dormant in winter, when their leaves die back they are hardy and will come back in spring/summer. A hardy plant that prefers a spot in partial sun, their roots should be covered with mulch for protection, as their leaves are large and broad, they have the potential to dehydrate and mulch coverage helps to reduce this risk. The Hosta is a lovely broad leafed plant that can bring life to a winter garden.
Not to be confused with Catnip, the Catmint plant is a pretty perennial with lovely lavender flowers that not only bloom for months, but can also be added to your edible plants list. It is a hardy alternative to lavender, can survive and thrive with little pampering, and tolerates our harsh winters but likes a location in partial sun. Catmint is also bee and butterfly friendly and will welcome these pollinators into your garden.
Buxus Hedging (Box Hedge)
The box hedge is a native to the UK and is a popular evergreen hedging plant option that is shade tolerant. The box hedge is very popular for low borders, so soften fence lines, and for topiary as it is easily trimmable into shapes like balls, pyramids and other sculptures. This hedging survives winter well and looks lovely with a pretty covering of snow.
Echinacea – Coneflower
The Coneflower is a hardy perennial which is quite happy to be left to its own devices. These plants prefer full sun, but will survive in partial shade, and their beautiful pink flowers will bloom from late July, through to early September if conditions are good, but pick a sunny spot to get the best flower colour. They are a low maintenance plant, and by removing the faded flowers, this will definitely encourage new flower growth.
Lily of the Valley
This pretty woodland flowering plant is a lovely fragrant addition to your garden. It’s gorgeous bell-shaped flowers will keep returning year after year in about May time to provide some lovely colour. This plant requires moist ground throughout the growing season, chalky soil is best, and they prefer shade or semi-shade to thrive. This plant is poisonous so care is needed.
Hellebores flower in winter to early spring, and are sometimes referred to as the ‘winter rose’. These perennials are often grown under tree canopies, in pots or in sheltered courtyards where they receive filtered light. They are available in an abundance of pastel colours, through to deep magentas and can provide some striking colour from early January to mid-March in your winter garden. Mulch around the roots for winter protection, but be aware that parts of this plant are poisonous, so care must be taken.
Our Ambius team are experts in exterior landscaping for businesses, and provide a wealth of knowledge for commercial window boxes, and exterior gardens that will ensure a burst of growth and colour throughout the winter season. From retail spaces to office parks, restaurants and bars, looking good on the outside can help to entice your patrons inside.