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Flowers that will thrive in your garden during winter


There are those days in winter when the sky is a vibrant blue, and the air is crisp.  It is the sort of day when you want to soak in the winter sun on your hardwood garden bench.  All you need to add to this perfect picture is a cup of hot chocolate in your mitten covered hands and some glorious winter flowers to admire.

If you put the pan of milk on the stove for warming, we will list some of the best winter flowers to plant in your garden.

Calendulas (Calendula Officinalis)

You may better know the Calendulas as pot marigold.  These winter bloomers offer some vibrant orange petals with that distinctive black eye.  The Calendulas grow well in pots and planters, which can adorn your decking or your patio, close to your wooden garden bench.  The flowers will also last a long time in vases so that you can bring some of the winter brightness into your home too.  These flowers are long-lasting.  They will begin to flower in late autumn and last well into early spring.

Pansies (Viola tricolour var. hortensis)

Pansies always make you smile.  They come in bright shades, whether it is yellow or purple or more and so bring a promise of the summer you miss so much.  Pansies are some of the most popular plants in a garden centre, and the reason is simple – it is a plant that is easy to grow. Pansies will enjoy the indoors as much as the outdoors, and they bloom in vibrant colour.

English Primrose (Primula Vulgaris)

One of the favourites of all flowers bought in England, the English Primrose is a beautiful addition to your pots and planters this winter. Your primrose will bloom from the middle of winter until early spring – therefore, could make the perfect natural gift this Christmas.  Choose the English variety of primrose for your winter flowers, as they are much better than Chinese Primrose at withstanding our colder climate.

Winter Jasmine (Jasminum nudiflorum)

Some would say that the clue is in the name.  However, you may be forgiven for doubting that this plant will offer a show of bright yellow plants.  You will love the burst of yellow from this Chinese ornamental plant – which will bloom as early as January.  Make sure you position it in full sun and let nature do much of the rest.  This Winter Jasmine doesn’t need you fussing over it – as it will just get on with flowering each winter.

Hellebores (Helleborus spp.)

The flowers of the Hellebores look too delicate and too tropical to blossom in the winter.  The orchid-like appearance should not fool you into believing this is a sensitive species.  The plant will flower in early winter and continue to bloom throughout the winter months.

These flowers work best in raised beds, as the plants will hang down and need the space to droop.  If you have the option of planting on a slope, then this could be the perfect bloom for your borders too, as they will happily spread down the hill.

Witch Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana)

You will need a fair bit of space to house your witch hazel.  It can grow up to 30 feet tall and about 15 feet wide.  Therefore, it is often considered a tree even though it is categorised as a large shrub.  Why we love the witch hazel so much is because they will always bloom with the most abundant yellow flowers throughout the winter.  There is nothing more stunning than a snow scene with witch hazel in flower in the picture.  The flowers are also beautifully fragrant and come with medicinal properties too.  Witch hazel is a common ingredient in creams to help soothe sensitive skin.  All in all, the witch hazel is something of a winter-flowering shrub hero!

Camellia (Camellia spp.)

Something of a superstar of the winter flowering plants, this will bloom from late autumn through to spring.  These are particularly popular in southern Asia, where they originate. However, they continue to be widespread across the world.  There are over 3000 varieties – so we are not going to list the colour, sizes and shapes you can buy – but it might be worth some investigation for the right type for your garden.

Crocus (Crocus app.)

Finally, and with a flourish of trumpets, we offer the crocus.  The humble crocus, along with snowdrops, is those hardy flowers that look so delicate.  They appear through frosted and snow-covered ground and flowering in vibrant colours.  This reminder of life in the depth of winter is one of those favourite images – and reminds us that nature cycles round and something warmer is on its way.

Anna Sharples

Anna is the marketing and office manager for Garden Benches - a premium supplier of high-quality wooden benches and other outdoor furniture.

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