Planting a winter garden

Planting a winter garden

Gardens don’t have to look dull and drab just because it’s winter. Plenty of plants come into their own at this time of year, with flowers, berries and even coloured stems bringing gardens to life through the coldest months. Here are a few of our favourite plants for winter gardens.


Plants with colourful bark

Some plants look their best when their leaves have fallen and the beauty of their coloured bark and stems is revealed. Cornus Sibirica has noticeably bright red stems. Prune it hardback in early spring to encourage new shoots with good colour for next winter’s show.

Other trees with brightly coloured bark include Acer palmatum ‘Sango-kaku’ (Japanese maple) with vivid red young stems, and Acer davidii (snakebark maple) with striking green and white-striped trunks. Birch trees also look fabulous in winter, whether it’s the gleaming white trunks of Betula utilis var. jacquemontii (Himalayan birch).


Best plants for berries

Plants that bear berries are a must in any winter garden. As well as adding colour, berries are a great food source for wildlife, bringing birds flocking to your garden. There’s no shortage of berry-bearing shrubs to choose from, and here are three of the best:

  • Pyracantha (firethorn) – bears yellow, orange or red berries in winter.
  • Ilex aquifolium (holly) – Female varieties bear glossy red berries provided a male variety is nearby for pollination
  • Callicarpa bodinieri var. giraldi ‘Profusion’ (beauty berry) – perfectly named for the gleaming purple berries that stay on the plant well into winter
  • Gaulteria
  • Pernettya - lovely red berries


Winter-flowering plants

You can’t stop flowers doing their thing, even in the depths of winter. Hellebores, those stalwarts of the shady garden, look fantastic at this time of year, with clusters of flowers in shades from pure white through pink and red to darkest purple-black. Pink and white cyclamens form carpets of colour under trees. Not to mention Mahonias bear bright yellow scented flower spires. Skimmias are in bud and berry this time of year and we can't forget winter pansies and violas.


Plants for winter pots

If you’re short on garden space, violas are one of the best choices for winter pots, and they’re available in just about any colour you can think of. Winter-flowering heathers also look lovely in pots, as well as providing vital food for bees venturing out in mild spells.

Evergreen grasses like Festuca glauca ‘Elijah Blue’ (blue fescue) and Carex ‘Jenneke’ also make excellent winter container plants.

You've also got:

  • Small ferns
  • Smll Cordalines
  • Small Conifers
  • Cineraria
  • Small Euonymus
  • Ivy
  • Heathers
  • Calocephalus

So if your garden’s got the blues, visit us and choose from our great range of plants to fill it with colour this winter.