plants need to be tough to survive winter. Gone
are the sunny days, replaced with cold draughts
and horizontal rain. What is needed to entice
you out through the patio doors is a range of
plants with flower, leaf or berry.
best all rounder is undoubtedly the heather.
It is used to the wind blowing through its foliage
and most garden centres have a range of different
winter flowering varieties to select from.
showy group of winter shrubs are the gaultherias.Gaultheria
mucronata used to be called Pernettya mucronata.
It has tiny, evergreen leaves and in winter
the stems are plastered with pearl-like berries
in white, pink, rose, crimson or mauve. A male
plant is needed to fertilize the female flowers.
Then there is Gaultheria. procumbens only growing
to 6 inches high with bright red berries in
winter. When they are crushed its evergreen
leaves smell of Wintergreen.
shallon can be a bit of a thug. It will grow
to 4 ft high with pink-flushed white flowers
followed by purple fruit.
Christmas box (Sarcococca confusa) doesn’t
make much of a show but each tiny white, winter
flower is a perfume factory.
with excellent fragrance the large, spiny leafed
, yellow flowered mahonias serve a useful purpose
as screening providing shelter from the wind.
junipers are tolerant of icy blasts. Juniperus
‘Blue Star’ is low growing with
bright blue-silver foliage. Juniperus hibernica
will provide height eventually forming a tall,
narrow column of tiny, grey-green leaves.
there is wooden trellis or balcony railings
then the evergreen Clematis cirrhosa will wind
its way, gradually covering the allotted space
without becoming too vigorous.The cream flowers
appear in late winter followed by attractive
fluffy, silver seed heads.The variety C. c.
‘Freckles’ has creamy pink flowers
speckled with red on the inside of the petals.
bulbs such as the fragrant Iris reticulata will
make splashes of colour during late winter.
The flowers of I.r. ‘Cantab’ are
pale blue with the lower fall (petal) deep blue
with a yellow crest.
will manage to flower, irrespective of weather,
brightening your day. Plant some primroses to
remind yourself that spring will soon be on
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