Flowers and shrubs for Winter colour in the garden

Cobwebs in the Herbaceous border bring a bit of winter interest and colour
Cobwebs in the Herbaceous border

 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.

What do the Colours in my garden say about you?

Colours you have in your garden say a lot about you read this;


Dark blue commands respect and is the Police. Green is relaxing and is used on the walls of hospitals, get the ideal. The colours of leaves, flowers and berries not only change our mood but show personalities.
So next time you're in someone else's garden, take a look around, 
if the garden has consciously been planted with lots of red flowers this can imply assertiveness and play down femininity by either sex, so it might be easier to do what your told.

Red shows physical strength, Liverpool and Manchester United play best in red, in a garden it could be used in a more active area, perhaps forming a barrier around the lawn or swimming pool. 
Use the tints, tones and shades they are stimulating and exciting and in extremes reds will actually raise the blood pressure. Crocosmia 'Lucifer', Papaver orientale 'Beauty of Livermere' and Potentilla 'Red ace' are all strong masculine red.

Yellow is for emotion, ego, optimism, self-esteem and spring, with daffodils, primroses, Fritillaria imperialis and skunk cabbage. It is bright and cheerful, the colour of sunshine and lifts the spirits. To much yellow may say that self-esteem is not at its highest 

Blue is the colour of intellect and boys, soothing and calming and encourages reflection, lowers blood pressure. It is the sky and the sea and in the garden can have the same effects. Great swathes of forget-me-not, Anchusa and cornflowers to relax. It is people's favourite colour maybe because we recognise the need for calm and logic in our lives. Dark blue also commands respect and is the Police

Green is the choice for a relaxing garden. Created by chlorophyll that is vital to life, in nature it shows water in abundance think twice about ripping up your lawn and laying decking because when we are surrounded by plenty of green we are reassured. Hostas, ferns and rhododendrons all provide an excellent relaxing backdrop to other colours.

Violet is the colour of someone who prefers to be left to peaceful thought, someone who gardens just for themselves and isn't worried about shouting out their achievements to others, Lovely people. Wisteria, Syringa vulgaris and various delphiniums are all suitable.

Pink is an expression of femininity for those men in touch with their feminine sides. A hint of reddish pink like Cistus x purpureus and Filipendula palmata is soothing and brings out the feminine parenting instinct. Its flesh colour also make it sexy .

Orange is sexy too it is the colour off physical enjoyment and fiery passion. It can create a feeling of physical comfort and can look very sensual. Try Euphorbia griffithii 'Fireglow', Lilium 'Enchantment'.

So Don't forget the planting plan to bring colour and texture into your garden.

 Our garden designer will hand-write a planting plan to suit your lifestyle, personality and type of garden.


These plants will bring interest and colour to any garden during the long grey days of Winter.

Deciduous tree

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

Evergreen perennial

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.

Deciduous shrubs

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.

Evergreen shrubs

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)

Herbaceous perennials

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.


Best container grown plants for winter.

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. 

Plants for winter colour grown in containers


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 pansy

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

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'

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

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.