How to create a colourful winter garden

29th January 2020

Creating a winter garden that is full of colour and has year-round interest is easy to do. We often look outside our windows this time of year and wish the time away thinking of spring, but there are so many unique plants that flourish this time of year that can transform a miserable looking garden. We think the best way to create a winter garden is to focus on colour, fragrance and structure. Also think about where you want the focus of your winter garden to be. Is it your front garden? Or close to your back door so you can have your winter plants nearer to your house visible from your windows and spring/summer plants near the end of your garden when you’re more likely to be outside enjoying them? One top tip we have is to focus on where the sunlight hits your garden during winter as this will help you to achieve a stunning display.
Including grasses in your garden such as panicum ‘heavy metal’ or miscanthus, provides structure and a contrast of texture especially if you have a lot of deciduous plants. Cornus’ are a very popular choice of plant as their brightly coloured stems provide structure and have the ability to draw the eye wherever they’re planted. Another fantastic plant for structure is of course silver birch trees. On a frosty morning when the sun is just starting to rise, you can’t beat that icy silver view. Now its not all about structure and creating a sight for sore eyes! Including plants with winter fragrance and flowers is a treat for your other senses. Hamamelis, commonly known as witch hazel, brings colour and scent with its orange, yellow or red spidery flowers. It is a fantastic specimen plant and would look even better underplanted with winter flowering bulbs. Sarcococca, also known as Christmas box, is another plant that ticks both boxes with its delicate white flowers and strong sweet scent. We recommend planting Sarcococca on the edge of a pathway or by a door so you can take full advantage of its beauty. We all know hydrangeas are at their prime in the summer but there’s just something about their dried flower heads on a frosty morning that we can’t help but admire. A good winter garden will not only focus on visual aspects and scent, but it will also provide a home for insects and small wildlife. Winter flowers are a source of energy for many hungry bees who wake up a little early and struggle to find a source of food. Try to refrain from sweeping away to many fallen leaves as they not only provide great shelter for insects, they will mulch down and nourish your soil.


The Big Green Plant Centre

Oxford Road



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