12 Jun Flowers and structure in your garden for Winter
Flowers and structure in your garden for Winter
When the amount of daylight available becomes shorter in the winter months you want to make sure your time outdoors gardening is well spent and enjoyable. The chill of winter may have crept into your garden, the trees may be bare and the weather may be dismal but this doesn’t mean the garden has to be grey with it. This is an ideal time to ensure you have some specific winter flowering plants to add colour and brightness to your day.
With any form of garden style it is always best to have a variety of plants throughout the year that will give you colour or interest in all the seasons. It may not just be flowers it could be foliage or fruit as well. Winter flowering plants can always be located behind a deciduous shrub or tree as you will be able to see them once the deciduous plants drop their foliage. There are also many winter flowering plants that are fragrant.
Planting Palette for Winter Colour
Deciduous trees and shrubs; Viburnum tinus, Japanese flowering Quince
Late winter/early spring: Magnolia soulangeana, Cornus, Forsythia
Evergreen trees and shrubs; Camellia, Rhododendron, Salvia “Santa Barbara”, Pieris, Kniphofias, Statice, Rosemary, Polygala, Paper Daisy, Hellebores, Iris, Grevillea, Wattles, Banksia, Callistemon, Kangaroo Paws, Correa, Hebe, Mahonia, Kniphofia
Winter Fragrance; Osmanthus, Luculia, Lavender, Daphne
Bulbs; Nerine, Cyclamens, Snow drops, Snowflakes, Daffodils
Climbers – Pyrostegia, Hardenbergia, Clematis
The inclusion of evergreen plants as hedges, ornamental shrubs and as feature trees is also important in the winter garden.
Winter in the garden is a time when you can really see the garden in its barest bones. If you have a more cottage style garden with lots of flowering herbaceous perennials you will find the garden quite bare in the winter months. I noticed this in our home garden last winter. Through the warmer months our garden resembled a tropical jungle however in the depths of winter all of the pretty perennials had died back or had been cut back ready for their spring flush. We have a row of citrus trees and avocadoes that are all evergreen but the back drop of the garden was gone and all of the under-storey plantings, were well and truly asleep underground. I decided we needed to add some evergreen shape and structure to the beds so that we could still have a lushness to the garden even when the rest of the plants were dormant
You can achieve evergreen shape and form in your garden through winter by adding a block planting of either a single shrub or groupings of the one shrub amongst your herbaceous perennials or even a hedge as a border or a back drop. Some of the plants I suggest you use to create this structure are;
Elaeagnus species, Viburnum tinus, Viburnum odoratissimum, Pittosporum “Silver sheen”, Escallonia iveyi, Bay Trees, Cupressus glauca
Westringia species, Teucrium fruticans, Rosemary officinalis, Correa glabra, Escallonia “Pink Pixie”, Raphiolepis indica “Oriental Pearl”, Buxus spp, Euonymous “Tom Thumb”
Liriope spp. Arthropodium, Dianella spp, Lomandra
Myoporum parvifolium, Rhagodia spinescens, prostrate rosemary, Juniper confertus