Winter is that time of year where many of us retreat to the warmth of our homes…. The garden being an after thought for most of us. However… I try to get out and do as many things in the garden before spring.
With a lack of colour from many perennial plants during this time of year this is when annuals can really be that hero to any great garden!
Here are my top 3 winter flowering annuals, and 1 perennial to grow this winter season!
- Violas and Pansies are a great way to add a splash of colour into the garden during winter when most plants sit dormant. However, their colourful blooms don’t just flower for winter these little beauties can continue blooming until November. IF… they are looked after right.
Keep them fertilised once a month with a liquid feed and ‘dead head’ (remove old flowers) to keep them blooming!!
In late November when the plants begin to look tired and die, keep the old flower heads on the plants as this will result in the plants to produce seeds. Allow the seeds to fall and they will sit dormant in the soil. The fallen seeds will germinate and flower again in the following year!
2. Primula malacoides is a dainty, elegant plant which flowers from mid winter through to the later months of spring. Just like the Viola and Pansies, these plants will self-seed during summer when the main plant begins to die. These can be a little…. invasive in the garden but their lollipop stems of colourful blooms are worth it! They are such a staple in my garden and I love seeing them flower!
3. Primula acaulis, also known as Polyanthus or Primrose are a great flowering annual for a shaded position in the garden. Or even better…. pots! They love to be grown in a rich soil with good drainage. If too wet they can be at risk of rotting. The wonderful thing about these plants they are very much like a herbaceous perennial, they flower throughout the winter then their lush green leaves will die to ground level in the summer. The roots stay alive during that time. Primula acaulis will re-emerge with healthy growth in the following winter and flower all over again. There are some stunning colours to choose from which can brighten any spot in the garden!
4. Helleborus x hybridus, Hellebore spp. are one of the hidden gems in the garden at this time of year…. I mean literally hidden. Their bold beautiful blooms hang downwards towards the soil surface and are often over looked. However these are some of the most outstanding, stunning flowers you can ever grown. Big words… yes I know but they are a real treat. I love the array of colours and combinations that can be found in their flower colours. They are also very easy to grow.
They love to be grown as a ‘woodland’ plant, so, this means under trees or amongst other plants which can provide them with a bit of protection. They like a humus rich soil, add a bag of compost or manure to improve your soil condition.
There you have it 4 amazing plants which can provide you with long lasting colour for many months. What are some of your favourites? Share them down below in the comments!!
Until next time happy gardening! By Bonnie-Marie Hibbs ©BMHPhotographyTheGardener’sNotebook2019