Winter favourites

Winter favourites

Article originally published by: Kiwi Gardener

Despite the short days and coldest weather yet to come, your garden doesn’t have to be any less interesting or colourful. Whether it’s a burst of potted colour or some flowering-shrub favourites, there are plenty of options available to add some zing to winter.

Potted pretties

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Potted Pansy

Think of winter colour and the ever-popular pansy, with its delightfully bold blooms and robust nature, is sure to spring to mind. Great for adding a seasonal splash of colour to bedding, hanging baskets and other containers, this little stalwart will keep on delivering throughout the winter months. Available in a wide range of colours from bright yellows through to scarlets and deep purples, this no-nonsense beauty can be grown from seed in summer to provide a long-lasting show of winter cheer. Pansies prefer well-drained soil in sun or partial shade.

Winter eve

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Viburnum tinus 'Eve Price'

Viburnum tinus ‘Eve Price’ delivers on two counts. It produces gorgeous carmine-red buds that open to delicate fragrant white-tinged-pink flowers in winter through to early spring, and follows them up with dark metallic-blue berries. Tough, evergreen foliage and an attractive compact habit make this shrub an ideal choice for structural planting, providing year-round interest. It does well in most garden soils and will cope happily with full sun or partial shade.

Red beauty

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Azalea indica ‘Guanda Red’

For a thrilling burst of rich red, look no further than the gorgeous Azalea indica ‘Guanda Red’ with its large, soft-red double flowers which continue blooming throughout the winter months. Its compact, evergreen nature makes it a good choice for year-round interest and it looks especially impressive when mass-planted. It also does well in containers, but does prefer free-draining, slightly acidic soil.

Prim and proper

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Primula acaulis

For something a little bit different, the flannel flower (Phylica pubescens) certainly delivers with its attractive cream, feathery flowers which last throughout the winter. An attractive, rounded, evergreen shrub (reaching a height of 1.5m), this sturdy specimen will grow vigorously in a well-drained sunny spot and requires little maintenance apart from cutting back after flowering. As an added bonus, the feathery blooms make great cut flowers.

Flannel favourite

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Flannel flower 'Phylica pubescens'

For something a little bit different, the flannel flower (Phylica pubescens) certainly delivers with its attractive cream, feathery flowers which last throughout the winter. An attractive, rounded, evergreen shrub (reaching a height of 1.5m), this sturdy specimen will grow vigorously in a well-drained sunny spot and requires little maintenance apart from cutting back after flowering. As an added bonus, the feathery blooms make great cut flowers.

Further ideas for winter interest

  • If you fancy a winter-flowering climber then look to Clematis cirrhosa var. purpurascens ‘Freckles’ with its distinctive speckled blooms.
  • For a burst of sweet winter fragrance, choose the ever-popular Daphne odora with its delicate, scented flowers and gorgeous, glossy foliage.
  • The succulent garden comes into its own in winter, with many of the aloes putting on a breathtaking display of fiery blooms.