Don't let the colour in your garden fade and disappear with the daylight hours, these plants will bring interest, colour and cheer during the long grey days of Winter too.
The nice thing about plants for winter colour is that many are scented.
So Don't forget the planting plan to bring colour and texture into your garden.
These plants will bring interest and colour to any garden during the long grey days of Winter.
Corylus avellana 'Red Majestic'. In winter its curly branches are covered with pink catkins, followed by purple leaves in spring and red nuts in summer. Height and spread 2.5m x 2.5m
Algerian iris, Iris unguicularis has beautiful lavender-blue blooms, which make good cut flowers . Height and spread 30cm x 80cm
Christmas rose, Helleborus niger has white saucer flowers, which flush pink as they age Height and spread 30cm x 45cm.
Abeliophyllum distichum– fragrant white flowers in February. Height 2m (6½ft)
Japanese wineberry, Ubus phoenicolasius it's related to the raspberry and in winter, the bristly rust-red stems really stand out. Height and spread 2m x 1m
White forsythia, beliophyllum distichum is the most elegant of winter plants with white, scented stars on bare branches between January and March. Height and spread 1.5m x 1.5m.
Daphne mezereum– purple-red flowers in February–April. Good in chalky soil. Height 1.5m (5ft)
Hamamelis × intermedia – several cultivars; fragrant yellow or orange flowers between December and March. Height 1.8–3m (6–10ft).
Winter honeysuckle Lonicera x purpusii 'Winter Beauty' Yes it's a shrub, not a climber with white flowers in December and honey perfume until March. Height and spread 2m x 2m.
Arbutus unedo AGM – white or tinged pink flowers between October and December. Height 4.5-6m (15-20ft)
Elaeagnus pungens'Maculata' (v) AGM – small, silvery white flowers between October and January. Height 4.5m (8-15ft)
Mahonia × media 'Charity' AGM – yellow spikes of flowers in November and December. Height 3-4.5m (10-15ft)
Christmas camellia Camellia x vernalis 'Yuletide' flowers on Christmas Day, it's festive scarlet and gold coloured flowers are scented Height and spread 2m x 1.5m
Clematis cirrhosa– cream flowers from November to March. Height 4m (13ft)
Clematis cirrhosa var. balearicaAGM – cream spotted red/maroon flowers from November to March. Height 4m (13ft)
Clematis cirrhosa 'Freckles' AGM – cream flecked maroon/violet flowers from November to March. Height 4m (13ft)
Bergenia – several species/cultivars with pink or white flowers from January to April. Height: 20-40cm (8-15in)
Helleborus nigerAGM – white flowers from December to March. Height 30-45cm (1ft-18in)
Iris unguicularis AGM – lilac flowers from October to March. Height 22cm (9in)
Eranthis hyemalisAGM – yellow flowers from January to March. Height 15cm (6in)
Galanthus nivalisAGM – white flowers from January to February. Height 7–10cm (3–4in
Squill 'Tubergenian, Scilla mischtschenkoana 'Tubergeniana' Has dainty ice-blue flowers between January and March. Height and spread 15cm x 5cm)
Scilla mischtschenkoana ‘Tubergeniana’ (syn. S. tubergeniana) AGM – pale blue flowers in February. Height: 10–15cm (4–6in)
The majority of winter plants can be bought container grown and planted at any time of the year. However, from November try to get bare rooted and root wrapped plants. These are much cheaper so save money. It is possible to plant at any time during the winter providing the soil isn't frozen solid or waterlogged. Prepare light sandy and heavy clay soils with bulky organic matter - well-rotted manure, compost, leaf-mould, composted bark.. For clay soils improve the drainage by digging in plenty of sharp sand or grit.
Nearly all winter-flowering plants can be grown in containers. This makes it easy moving them close to windows and doors in fact it's a good idea to plant your winter plants close to the house as many produce flowers with a lovely scent. Mix in plants with colourful leaves and evergreen foliage, berries and seed heads can make lovely natural Christmas decoration.
This mixture of colourful evergreens and flowers are some of my own favourite winter plants for growing in containers and they can still be planted now, so don't wait until spring to bring some colour back into your face, sorry garden.
Imperata cylindrica 'Red Baron'
Imperata cylindrica 'Red Baron' is a glowing-red grass, seen at its best with the sun behind it. Hardy however, needs a sheltered spot.
Wintergreen, Gaultheria procumbens
Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens) is a naturally festive-looking, neat, low-spreading evergreen with large red berries and reddish-tinged leaves in winter.
Winter-flowering pansies with yellow, maroon, white or purple 'faces' will keep flowering except in the very worst weather. However, they will recover and then continue until June.
Miniature cyclamen (Cyclamen persicum) are neat, very free-flowering and nearly hardy plants. Normally sold for indoors so needs a mild sheltered spot or use temporarily.
Carex are tuft-forming evergreen perennials with green, variegated or bronze, curly or arching leaves. Very tough and contemporary, and will look good all winter.
Skimmia 'Rubella' is a rugged, hardy and reliable evergreen with grape-like clusters of tight pink buds throughout winter. Teams well with heathers.
Phormium is a colourful architectural evergreen with arched strap-shaped leaves in pink, purplish and bronzy shades, including stripes. A good mixer for contemporary schemes.
Ajuga is a rugged evergreen perennial that's low-spreading with rounded purple or purple-variegated leaves depending on variety. Makes a non-traditional alternative to ivy.
Hardy sedums can be semi-trailing or short and clumpy with purple or blue-grey leaves, good for creating structural displays.
Imperata cylindrica 'Red Baron' is a glowing-red grass, seen at its best with the sun behind it.
Bee-friendly container plants
While you're at it, choose some bee-friendly plants for your pots and containers. These are three that contain nectar for bees, crocus, hellebores and snowdrops.
hanging baskets / shade / herbaceous borders / clay / windowboxes / pathways / Winter colour / dry / sandy soil / chalky soil / slopes / bog gardens / carnvourouse / ground cover / Low maintenance plants