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Top 10 Plants for Winter 2022


By Bryony


Winter is time of beautiful frosty, crisp mornings. A time of tingling skin and bright, shiny cheeks. There is a joy in this time of year that can not only come from the ever-changing seasons - enjoyment can also come from working hard and creating foundations for a beautiful garden when you least think of your outdoor spaces as a place of interest. Just because the leaves have fallen and many of your plants have gone to sleep does not mean winter is a time of rest for all. There are some sensational plants for almost every corner of your plot – allowing you to add foliage interest, structural intrigue and even a sprinkling of floriferous wonder.

With this in mind we have compiled a top 10 of our favourites for winter colour – guaranteed to warm your heart as well as the shifting colour palette of your garden.


Summer's Gorgeous Golds


Golden yellow is the primary colour of summer – instantly reminding us of the sun’s amber glow as it beats down on warm, fertile earth. Yellow makes us think of sunshine, warmth, happiness and cheer, so let’s kick things off with some golden winter wonders


1. Eranthis hymalis Winter Aconite


These bright golden-cupped blossoms, circled by a frill of slender leaves, originated in the chalky woodlands of central Europe. A member of the buttercup family, ‘Winter Aconite’s’ pert flowers will warm up a bleak January day, bursting into a carpet of gold before the trees come back into leaf. These hardy little perennials do well when nestled around the base of roses or deciduous trees and will retreat back into their underground tubers once flowering is over. Equally happy in pots and window boxes, their buttery glow will provide a dash of sunshine, wherever you plant them.


2. Mahonia x media 'Winter Sun'


‘Winter Sun’ not only delivers lovely, long spikes of brilliant, yellow flowers from winter to early spring, it also perfumes the chilly air with gorgeous fragrance. Rarely sighted, winter bumblebees are particularly fond of the tiny greeny-gold flowers which dance on upright stems. ‘Winter Sun’s’ long racemes of blooms pack a punch even from a distance, making this bushy evergreen a perfect choice for the back of a border. With diminutive flowerheads which resemble mini-daffodils – this shrub is a wonderful reminder that spring is coming!


3. Witch Hazel - Hamamelis intermedia 'Orange Beauty'


Much like outrageously colourful fireworks, the tassel-like blossoms fringing the stark branches of a late-winter witch hazel are blatant attention seekers. Amongst the many varieties available, there are plenty with sunshine-coloured blossoms to marvel over. A personal favourite is ‘Orange Beauty’ whose lovely, wiggly petals extend from a dark purple centre and blend from deep orange to a lovely eggy-yellow at the ends. Offering a generous display of fragrant blossoms from late winter to early spring, this deciduous shrub also provides autumnal magic with a glorious display of orange/yellow leaves.


4. Helleborus Anemone super 'Yellow Spotted'


My final splash of summer sun must be ‘Yellow Spotted” - a lemony-yellow hellebore with a soft pleated centre flower ringed by large, purple-spotted petals. Affectionately holding the common name ‘Christmas Rose’ due to their early winter flowering, hellebores offer a seasonal feast for the early bumblebees with a generous load of nectar and pollen. The blooms on these undemanding plants are also available in a range of shades, so if this gorgeous yellow is not for you, explore the creamy whites, vivid pinks and deep purples offered by different hellebore varieties.


All the Colours of the Rainbow


Naturally, yellow shades are not the only way to warm up chilly surroundings. Winter bloomers also come in a kaleidoscope of other colours which will certainly perk up a hibernating garden – here are a few of our favourites.


5. Pansy 'Frizzle Sizzle' Mix


Pansies are not just for summer and this hardy, multicoloured selection is exactly what you need if you are yearning for vivid shades. The ‘Frizzle Sizzle’ mix produces dazzling winter flowers with large, frilly, double blooms in shades of red, lilac, blue, pink and a riot of other shades. A kitchen window box full of winter pansies is a perfect way to lift your heart on a gloomy, wet morning.


6. Winter flowering honeysuckle - Lonicera ‘Winter Beauty’


As the queen of the winter-flowering honeysuckle varieties, from November to February, ‘Winter Beauty’ produces a mass of tubular ivory blossoms, dramatically strewn across bare branches. Whether you train this honeysuckle against a sunny wall, or simply let it meander as it chooses, this hardy shrub will delight you with its delicious fragrance. Planting this honeysuckle near your front path will chase the winter blues away, as the heady scent will act as a mood enhancer, every time you pass by.


7. Daphne odora ‘Rebecca’


Between late winter and early spring, this bushy shrub’s attractive purple-red buds explode into clusters of highly perfumed, pastel-pink tubular flowers. Not only does ‘Rebecca’ delight in both bud and flower, as an evergreen it continues to be a visual treat all year round. Bright berries eventually replace the blooms, and glossy, green foliage, highlighted with a showy band of creamy-yellow, reminds us flowers are not the only way to colour a garden.


A Fascinating Flash of Foliage


Naturally, yellow shades are not the only way to warm up chilly surroundings. Winter bloomers also come in a kaleidoscope of other colours which will certainly perk up a hibernating garden – here are a few of our favourites.


8. Sedum ‘Angelinas Teacup’


This low-growing, evergreen succulent is anything but green. Bright yellow in spring, the leaves take on a yellowy-green hue in summer and develop to an attractive, burnt orange in autumn and through most of the winter. A fantastic choice for use as a groundcover, try mass planting ‘Angelina’s Teacup’ to cover dull patches of ground with a brilliant carpet.


9. Phormium 'Sundowner'


This New Zealander is an old favourite – a clumpy perennial with foliage which provides a constant source of colour. Greens, reddish-pinks and creamy golds are all present in the ‘Sundowner’s’ variegated strap-shaped leaves, reminiscent of a blast of autumn sunset. Give this ‘Flax Lily’ a sheltered corner, and it’s stripey, erect display will cheerfully break up the monotonous winter greens at the back of your border.


10. Skimmia 'Rubella'


When it comes to winter colour, ‘Rubella’ is all about the buds rather than the flowers. In autumn and throughout winter, this shrub’s deep green elliptical leaves are crowned by purple-red panicles, busy with flower buds which eventually open to reveal tiny white flowers in early spring. ‘Rubella’ is a delight in part-shady areas of the garden, or equally at home in an attractive pot as a lovely winter feature.


These 10 choices make a great starting point, however there are plenty of other exciting and unusual choices for brightening up a winter garden. Typing ‘winter colour’ into the search bar on our website will throw up a host of possibilities, so do have a good browse, particularly if you have a favourite colour in mind.

One final thought! The effort you put into livening up your winter garden will also be appreciated by other garden lovers – and not just the human variety – so include a few carefully placed nesting houses and feeders to introduce some feathery colour amongst the greenery as well. With bird song, brilliant blossoms and buzzing pollinators throughout the winter, the warmth of the summer sun is less likely to feel like a rather distant memory.

If, for any reason you are not delighted with your purchase, just return it to us within 21 days.

We promise to exchange the item or return the price you paid for the item in full. This is in addition to your statutory rights.

Hayloft Plants will not agree to refunding the costs of returning the parcel to us.

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