Why is it that come the Autumn even keen gardeners tidy up, pack their tools away and go indoors not to reappear until Spring? It appears to many that Nature has come to a grinding halt and there is nothing growing or flowering and nothing to do.
Well, I’ve got news for you – I’m an avid winter gardener – in fact I perhaps enjoy my garden work more in Winter than Summer. You don’t have to have big estates or rolling acres, even the smallest garden can come to life during the winter months.
Let’s start with Snowdrops (Galanthus Nivalis) -this little bloom is a team player and likes nothing better than being grouped together in a shady spot or under a tree and will pop their little heads up as early as late December ‘ hailing oncoming Spring with lifted spear’.
Talking of shady corners, if you have a shady or north facing wall or fence pop in a Winter Jasmine (Jasmine nudiflorum), just give it a bit of support and you will have an abundance of golden yellow blossom December to February.
Perhaps an easy to grow low carpet of purple, pink and white flowers might lure you outside in midwinter, in which case you might pop in some heathers- Erica carnea varieties such as EC ‘King George’ or EC ‘Springwood White’ of EC ‘Vivelli’ to name a very few.
Maybe fragrance is what you really desire in your winter garden. Then try Viburnum bodnatense ‘Dawn’ – an upright shrub with clusters of fragrant pink blossom on bare stems December to February that is lovely as a cut flower that will fill the room with its scent.
I can also mention Witch hazels, Mahonias, Skimmias, and Daphne that will also give a wonderful show in the deepest winter months.
There is a winter world of colour out there to be enjoyed , so go on, give it a try!