If there is one thing my Mother didn’t bless me with, it was a Green Thumb. I have to try realllllly hard since my touch seems to bring the black plague to most plants within a 50 foot radius. This year I made a resolution to create a garden with and so far with a lot of work, sweat, and tears (no, I don’t want to talk about it), it’s finally coming to fruition! Winter time can be tricky though. With cool weather approaching, many gardeners like myself are looking for a way to break up the dreary landscape that comes with winter. Thankfully, finding plants that thrive in harsher conditions is easier than you might think. The plants below are a great place to start for a winter garden full of color:
The aptly named winterberry is a species of holly that can grow 6-15 feet tall and often just as wide. Winterberry is a low-maintenance, deciduous shrub that provides food for small mammals and several species of birds, but is poisonous to humans. The showy bright red berries will last throughout winter and often into early spring.
Blooming readily in winter, this deciduous shrub grows 3-4 feet tall and twice as high. The stems of the bush stay green year-round, while the waxy yellow flowers add some much-needed color to the dead of winter. Winter jasmine can be planted to climb a trellis and will grow up to 15 feet, but will do just as well left to cascade over a retaining wall.
This hardy plant thrives in the cool temperatures of the winter season and goes dormant in the summer. Hardy cyclamen are one of the few flowering plants that can survive being planted in dry shade, making them an easy plant for those lacking a green thumb. Well-draining soil is a must, as excessive moisture can cause tubers to rot. Largely free of pests, these colorful flowers are well-suited to the harsh demands of winter.
Oriental hybrid hellebores add a much-needed pop of color to your winter landscape, and they bloom before almost anything else – putting out flowers even before the snow melts. Available in pretty much every color under the sun, these beauties can tolerate near full sun or full shade, but prefer partial shade with acidic soil.
Iceland poppies are lightly fragranced flowers that come in a variety of colors, creating a beautiful display that lasts from mid-winter to late spring. The petals of this colorful flower are near translucent, allowing the sun to shine through them – making them appear much brighter than the average flower.
If you need a reason besides their healing properties to plant witch hazel, consider the color and fragrance they bring to a gray winter garden. With unique spidery blooms, these flowers stand out against the dull colors of winter and thrive in the harsh weather.
Snowdrops come in 2,500 varieties, with most of them blooming in winter. These beautiful white flowers with brilliant green stems are low-maintenance and will survive in almost any soil, making them ideal for gardeners that are less than attentive to their plants.
When winter arrives, there’s no reason to have a landscape lacking in color. With these bright plants, you can have a garden full of color before the snow melts – allowing you to enjoy your garden all year.
What plants do you have in your garden in the wintertime? Let me know in the comments below!