While winter might not boast the vibrant, fresh feel of emerging blooms in spring and summer there’s no need to lament the drop in temperature. Thankfully Mother Nature has a plan for the colder weather to prevent the December garden from appearing stark and soulless, so with a little inspiration and wise purchases from companies such as Bakker you could be a winter winner. Here are five options to consider:
The iconic holly brings up images of Christmas and the holiday season, but you may be unaware that there are more than 400 species, with berries of all colours ranging from dark crimson to yellow.
As well as a useful decoration for the house it can also act as a hardy barrier in the garden, a useful supply of food and nesting location for birds such as black birds and redwing, and a complementary colour in the garden against the other greens or white of snow. One disadvantage is the thick carpet of spiky leaves which can soon accrue once they drop, prohibiting growth from below, so make sure they are regularly swept away. This Telegraph guide may provide the holly lover with inspiration.
Providing a splash of colour throughout winter, there’s something inherently pretty and friendly about pansies. Equally suitable for the giant planter and the tiny pot, pansies are a versatile and hardy flower available in an almost infinite array of colours.
Winter-flowering pansies should be planted before the winter frost arrives to let the roots develop, and regular removal of deadheads will maintain a consistent display. Planting in October to November should be fine, but make sure you water them regularly during the dry winter spells.
Often grown in tandem with pansies, the prolific viola is a smaller and somewhat more subtle flower.
It also boasts much of the adaptability of the pansy and is perfect for hanging baskets, therefore adding a drop of colour to the exterior of the house during the barren winter months, especially if the flowers are a subtle pink or blue.
The vibrant, lovely English primrose is a mainstay of traditional country cottage paintings, and can provide a glorious carpet for open woodland . It also blooms throughout the year, and represent excellent choices for the earnest gardener in winter as well as spring or summer, although it will need a little care.
Mounding any mulch around them will prevent devastation through freezing, and any potted or container primroses should ideally be brought inside.
5) Winter vegetables
When autumn turns to winter and you need a thick, glorious herby soup or roast to spruce you up then what could be better than venturing out into your own garden and choosing your own vegetables?
The choices are rich and numerous; broccoli, cabbage, parsnips, carrots, onions and leek provide bulk and flavour to casseroles, and all will play their part on December 25 if needed.
The Royal Horticultural Society advises choosing an open site with free draining soil. You will need to be well-prepared to cultivate your crop before the harsh frost arrives, so make sure you read the sowing information on the back of the seed packet and plan accordingly for your glorious winter meals.
This is a guest post. Image via Google.