Plants For Winter Interest
Looking out into the garden in the winter needn’t be dull and
dreary. With a little bit of thought and planning our gardens can lift
the spirits on the darkest of days. On frosty mornings plants take on
an almost magical appearance when tinged with white and glistening
spiders webs. Even if it’s just a few pots filled with winter pansies
or early bulbs to come through, we can add charm and beauty to the
garden in the depths of winter. Inspiration can be found by visiting
open gardens at different times of the year and, of course, we always
have lots of seasonal displays at Poplar to give you plenty of ideas.
With many herbaceous perennials beneath the soil at this time of the year we need to think of plants that will add interesting displays throughout the winter season such as decorative seed heads with grasses and evergreens. Colourful dogwoods (Cornus) are at their best in winter with their scarlet or bright yellow stems. Prune them hard in spring to encourage the bright young shoots.
are some shrubs that bloom in winter including Mahonias, witch
hazels (Hamamelis) and scented winter box (Sarcococca). For evergreen
interest and structure try adding some conifers – there are even blue
and gold leaved forms that will add extra colour to the garden. Camelia
Sasanqua Yuletide is well worth a mention for it's evergreen polished
looking leaves and gorgeous scented flowers. Skimmias are neat,
evergreen shrubs that will add winter interest to borders, but are also
used extensively in containers, where they are often planted with winter
pansies or heathers and perhaps a touch of trailing ivy. They bear
clusters of tight buds throughout the winter, followed by fragrant
spring flowers and berries on female plants.
One of the most beautiful winter plants is the Hellebore (Christmas rose) with their nodding flowers from late winter to spring when they are a source of food for pollinating insects. Some have attractive silver or marbled leaves and many are evergreen. Hellebores will do well in most soils, but do prefer fertile, evenly moist, but free-draining soil in light shade, although some can be planted in a sunnier spot as long as the soil isn’t prone to drying out.
Early spring bulbs such as snowdrops make
welcome displays in the depths of winter and give us a glimpse of all
that is to come. If you didn’t get a chance to plants any during bulb
planting season in early autumn, they will be available as potted
spring bulbs here at Poplar from week commencing 15th
December and there is nothing more exciting and inspiring than going out
into the plant area and seeing their shoots appearing, signalling the
start of the new seasons ahead. Snowdrops (Galanthus) are amongst the
first to show themselves with their drifts of graceful white
bell-shaped, nodding flowers at the end of erect flowering stems. They
love to shelter in dappled shade in moist, well drained soil. It is
important that the soil does not dry out in the summer, so add some
leafmould or garden compost when planting. They will soon multiply into
drifts, providing wonderful displays. Other early flowering bulbs
such as Narcissus (Daffodil) February Gold will also bridge the gap
between late winter and spring with their rich yellow blooms.
At Poplar Nurseries we always have selections of winter flowering planted containers to add instant seasonal interest in the garden and they will also make welcome Christmas gifts for gardeners during the festive season.