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Your garden may appear to die down over winter but that’s not the case! The good news is that with a bit of careful planning you can have colour and interest right through the coldest winter months. So here are a few tips on how best to achieve a winter garden design.

Evergreens

The garden reveals its bare bones in the winter and planting evergreen shrubs and trees is the best way to get a framework in your garden. Not only will they give you year-round interest, but they also create the perfect backdrop for colourful plants at other times of the year.

Taller varieties can be used to divide up the space, creating ‘rooms’ for different purposes. Then shorter ones can be used as permanent edging for flower or veg borders.

Rose-petal-salad-2

Winter colour

Lavender-sprigs-in-lemon-drink

Several deciduous shrubs have beautiful colour stems that really shine out on a gloomy winter’s day.

All you need to do to keep that vibrant colour going every year is cut all the stems back hard late February to just above ground level. This is because it’s the new growth that produces the vibrant colour – and don’t worry the stems grow back very quickly!

Great examples of this can be found with the dogwoods whose different colour stems range from bright red to deep dark purple.

If you have room for a tree or two then some have really interesting markings on their trunks. For example the snake-bark maple (Acer capillipes), a small tree with white striped young branches.

Or Tibetan cherry (Prunus serrula) which is another small tree with shiny dark maroon coloured bark, and the bark peels as it ages. Plant this tree close to a path and you’ll find people will want to touch the trunk which is great as that helps makes the bark smoother and shinier.

Perfumed picks

Several shrubs only give off their delicious scent during the winter and early spring. Therefore, planting a selection of these will give you an extra special reason for going outside and enjoying your garden year round.

Winter flowering honeysuckle (Lonicera x purpusii ‘Winter Beauty’) looks nothing like its summer flowering climbing cousin.

Lavender-sprigs-in-lemon-drink

It’s a rounded shrub with sweetly scented flowers that appear in the winter, followed by leaves in spring. Alternatively, if you want an evergreen scented shrub then Sarcococca confusa (Christmas box) is a great choice with its glossy green leaves and honey scented white flowers during the winter months.

Seedheads

Lavender-sprigs-in-lemon-drink

Some summer flowering plants and grasses produce seedheads in the autumn months which, if left, can look architecturally stunning over winter, especially when frosted. These seedheads can often attract birds to eat the seeds too.

Good examples of this are Phlomis russeliana (Turkish sage) and the Calmagrostis x acutifolia (feather reed grass) ‘Karl Foerster’, a grass which forms narrow upright clumps turning a beautiful shade of bronze over winter.

So, combine evergreen structure, colour, scent and seedheads you’ll be drawn outside over the chillier months. I’d love to see your winter garden designs on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

For more winter colour inspiration, read this:

Or check out my Pinterest board for more ideas:

Winter garden colour
Pinterest
Pinterest Board


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