Top 10 Winter Plants

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You caneasily fashion a picturesque garden during those harsh winter months with onlya few simple, cold-hardy plants. From buds to berries, to flowers, evergreens,hedges, and climbers, there is a winter shade for all your summer favourites.These 'winter interest' plants offer fresh fragrances and vibrant colours ableto rival their summer counterparts.

Additionally,many of these plants are shade tolerant, and can easily acclimatize to life ina container. Containers are useful because they allow for plants to be easilymoved between inside and out, as dictated by the weather, temperature, andseason. For container plants to flourish, they should be grown in a loam-basedsoil.

It isimportant to note that the growth on winter plants may be erratic, depending onthe severity of the winter; just because they can survive the season does not mean harsh ice will not wipe themout.

Here are15 of our favourite winter plants (many, many more are available):

1. Heather:

u00b7 There are 4250 species of heather.

u00b7 Heather is famous for growing across Scotland.

u00b7 Approximately 500 million acres of Scottish moorland are coveredin heather.

u00b7 'Ling' heather is the most common type in Scotland; its flowersbloom purple.

u00b7 Heather can bloom in purple, white, pink, even gold.

u00b7 It grows particularly well in a pot or container.

2. Snow Drop:

u00b7 Snow drops flower between January and March.

u00b7 They should be planted between April and May.

u00b7 Snow drops are grown from a bulb, meaning they re-occur everyyear.

u00b7 They are the most widely recognised winter-blooming flower.

u00b7 Snow drop bulbs are prone to drying out; they should be planted immediately in moist, well-fertilised,well-drained soil, in view of sunlight.

3. Daffodil:

u00b7 Associated with Spring,not winter.

u00b7 They often begin their bloom in late Winter (January –February).

u00b7 Daffodils boast vibrant yellow petals (sometimes white) surroundingan orange centre.

u00b7 Daffodils are often found growing in the wild.

u00b7 They are grown from a bulb, meaning they return year on year.

u00b7 They grow well in containers or borders.

u00b7 Daffodils should be planted between September and October tocatch the following winter/spring bloom.

4. Crocus:

u00b7 A plant which announces the arrival of spring.

u00b7 They bloom in late winter.

u00b7 There are over 60 species of crocus; some are more suited towinter than others.

u00b7 They are particularly suited to borders/containers.

u00b7 They offer cup-shaped flowers in an array of colours; from blueand purple, to yellow and white.

u00b7 Most species flourish in sandy, well-drained soil, with plentyof sunlight (though there are some which desire shade and moisture).

5. Hellebores/Christmas Rose:

u00b7 The flowers bloom in mid-winter until early Spring.

u00b7 They should be planted in early Spring (though may take 2-3years before they flower fully).

u00b7 The Christmas Rose requires fertile, well-drained soil in ashaded area.

u00b7 The flowers commonly flourish in white, with flecks of red,though can appear dark red, even green.

u00b7 The hellebores' large, serrated leaves should be regularlytrimmed in order for the flowers to bloom fully.

6. Winter Jasmine:

u00b7 Winter Jasmine is a climbing plant.

u00b7 It blooms yellow, star-shaped flowers.

u00b7 Winter Jasmine bears a strong, perfumed scent.

u00b7 It can flourish in the cold, and in shaded areas (thoughrequires partial sunlight).

u00b7 It is best to have Jasmine planted so that it is facing South orSouth-West.

u00b7 Winter Jasmine requires fertile, well-drained soil.

u00b7 In winter, Jasmine requires less watering overall.

7. Witch Hazel/Hamamelis:

u00b7 Nota common plant in the UK (more so in the USA and Japan), although Witch Hazel can be grown in Britain too, with dueattention and care.

u00b7 The spidery flowers of Witch Hazel bloom in yellow ('Pallida'),orange ('Jelena') and red ('Diane').

u00b7 Witch Hazel carries a spicy scent.

u00b7 They are best grown in an open space with plenty of sunlight;they can survive in partial shade.

u00b7 Flowers bloom between December and March.

u00b7 Avoid hard frosts (usehorticultural fleece if unavoidable).

u00b7 Witch Hazel grows best in well-drained, frequently watered soil(even during winter) – try adding compost to clay soil.

u00b7 Witch Hazel can be grown in a large pot.

u00b7 Witch Hazel needs infrequent pruning.

8. Mahonia:

u00b7 Commonly referred to as Barberry.

u00b7 There are over 70 species of Mahonia.

u00b7 Mahonia is a type of evergreen.

u00b7 The Mahonia blooms between November and December.

u00b7 Commonly, Mahonia flowers are pointed in shape, and brightyellow in colour (though this can vary).

u00b7 The leaves of Mahonia are coloured luscious green, and can bearmed with barbs.

u00b7 Mahonia can flourish in shade or partial shade.

u00b7 These plants are best suited to well-drained, moist soil.

9. Cotoneaster:

u00b7 One of the best plants for the Scottish weather.

u00b7 Depending on the classification used, there are between 70 and300 species of cotoneaster.

u00b7 The cotoneaster is a luscious, semi-evergreen tree loaded withbrilliant red berries (inedible to humans and avoided by birds). These berriesdo provide food for a number of other animals during autumn/winter though.

u00b7 The cotoneaster can grow up to 10ft.

u00b7 This tree flowers in late winter/early spring with white or palepink blossoms.

10. Winter Aconite/EranthisHyemalis:

u00b7 Blooms vibrant yellow flowers in late winter, as a result of gentlewarmth (from sunlight).

u00b7 Best grown under a tree or shrub, or on a grassy bank.

u00b7 Flourishes in rich, moist soil that is well-drained.

Even though these plants can survive winter, it isbest to invest in horticultural fleece and windbreakers as an extra precaution.

By Dylan Blyth.

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