Plant now for Winter Colour

Many plants with winter interest are scented, shade tolerant and some are great in pots. The sight and scent of these colourful plants will cheer up a dull time of the year.

Winter colour may come from flowers, berries, coloured stems or dramatic evergreen foliage. Plants with fragrance are great planted by doorways or entrances in containers, and planting can then be changed according to the seasons. Use John Innes No.2 when planting containers.

Some great ideas for Winter colour are below.

Bedding

Pansies

Pansies

A gardener's staple plant. Ideal for filling pots or window boxes.

Violas

Violas

Like Pansies, another staple plant. Ideal for filling pots or window boxes.

Cyclamen

Cyclamen

Can be brought to flower from Autumn to Spring. Come in red, pink and white shades.

Good Shrubs for Winter Colour (deciduous)

Daphne

Daphne

A slow growing, semi-evergreen usually with pink & white, highly scented flowers. Height: up to 5ft (1-5m)

Callicarpa

Callicarpa

a medium-sized upright shrub. Purplish when young, turning rosy-pink in Autumn. Compact clusters of violet-purple berries. Height: nearly 10ft (3m)

Hamamelis Intermedia 'Diane'

Hamamelis Intermedia 'Diane'

Also known as Witch Hazel. Has fragrant, eye-catching flowers in rich Autumnal colours between December-March. Height up to 6-10ft (1.8m-3m).

Cornus Mas (Cornelian Cherry)

Cornus Mas (Cornelian Cherry)

Has purple leaves in the Autumn, with tiny yellow flowers in the Winter followed by glossy red cherry-like fruit.

Viburnum  x Bodnantense 'Dawn'

Viburnum x Bodnantense 'Dawn'

A shrub that grows upright, with dark green, ovate leaves and clusters of scented, light pink and white flowers opening from autumn to spring, from red buds.

Forsythia

Forsythia

Fragrant yellow flowers in February. Height up to 6ft (2m)

Good evergreen Shrubs for Winter Colour

Pyracantha Firethorn

Pyracantha Firethorn

A pretty shrub with attractive flowers and red, yellow or orange berries in Autumn and Winter. It is often trained against a wall or fence.

Eleagnus Ebbingii

Eleagnus Ebbingii

Lovely dark olive green leaves, with small, white, very fragrant flowers between October and January. Height 6-12ft (2-4m)

Arbutus Unedo Roselily

Arbutus Unedo Roselily

A small, shrubby, evergreen tree that produces large, glossy dark green leaves, followed by drooping sprays of small, whitish-pink flowers in the autumn accompanied by yellow-red strawberry-like fruits.

Viburnum tinus

Viburnum tinus

A large, evergreen shrub that grows to 3m with dark green, oval leaves. It has clusters of small, creamy-white flowers, often pink-tinged in bud in late winter and spring, followed by blue-black berries.

Elaeagnus Pungens Maculata

Elaeagnus Pungens Maculata

A bushy evergreen shrub that can grow to 4m tall, with bright yellow leaves narrowly margined with dark green. Has small, fragrant white flowers in autumn

Sarcococca Confusa (Sweet Box)

Sarcococca Confusa (Sweet Box)

A bushy evergreen shrub that can grow to 2m, with glossy, deep green, wavy ovate leaves. In winter it has inconspicuous, very sweetly scented, creamy-white flowers, followed by glossy black berries.

Skimmia Rubella

Skimmia Rubella

A small, bushy evergreen shrub with dark green leaves up to 10cm long. Clusters of red buds, showy in late winter, with fragrant white flowers in early spring.

Gaultheria Pernettya

Gaultheria Pernettya

Lovely evergreen shrubs with glossy dark green leaves and attractive berries, ranging from white, red and deep purple.

Mahonia 'Sweet Winter'

Mahonia 'Sweet Winter'

Sweet Winter has beautiful, dark green, fine foliage and blooms in the winter with large, yellow flower clusters. After flowering the dark blue berries appear.

Climbers

Trachelospermum Jasminoides

Trachelospermum Jasminoides

A vigorous medium-sized evergreen woody climber with glossy dark green, oval leaves which often turn deep red in Winter. The clusters of very fragrant white flowers become cream with age.

Jasminium Nudiflorum (Winter Jasmine

Jasminium Nudiflorum (Winter Jasmine

A medium-sized deciduous shrub with long, arching branches and small leaves. Flowers bright yellow in Winter and Spring.

Herbaceous Perennials

Bergenia 'Autumn Magic'

Bergenia 'Autumn Magic'

A clump-forming, evergreen perennial, to around 15.5 inches (40cm) tall, with leathery, oval, dark green leaves that are sometimes edged with red (the foliage can turn dark red in cold winter weather). Clusters of dark pink flowers on red stems appear over a long season from Spring into Autumn

Helleborus Christmas Carol

Helleborus Christmas Carol

This will often produce its large, glowing white flowers in time for the Christmas festivities - and it will usually continue to bloom until early Spring.

Bulbs

Galanthus Nivalis (Snowdrops)

Galanthus Nivalis (Snowdrops)

Delicate white flowers from January to February. Height 3-4 inches (7-10cm)

Scilla Mischtschenkoana

Scilla Mischtschenkoana

'Tubergeniana' variety has pale blue flowers in February. Height: 4-6 inches (10-15cm)

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Helleborus Christmas Carol

This will often produce its large, glowing white flowers in time for the Christmas festivities - and it will usually continue to bloom until early Spring.