Winter Gardening: Striking Plant Ideas
Just because temperatures drop off late in the year doesn’t mean winter gardening has to follow suit. With some gardening basics and these winter blooming flowers and plants, you can boost texture and add hints of color to your yard.
This native plant attracts attention from summer till the next spring. Plant groups in a sunny space for maximum impact and put off deadheading until the snow melts. Because a coneflower’s prickly seedpod is so substantial, a bunch of them will add a big architectural element to any winter garden.
Long after frost has dulled sedum’s vibrant colors, many varieties’ flower heads add to winter gardens. You don’t have to cut back the flowers or foliage until early spring, so this flower can add interest to a garden all winter long.
While heather is a celebrated plant throughout Europe, it’s often forgotten here in North America. This versatile flower boasts color during every season, making it ideal for winter gardening. From the little florets in summer and autumn to gorgeous foliage in winter, this beauty makes a strong impact in any garden with acidic soil. In locations where snowfall is light, insulate heather with mulch and pine branches.
Galanthus • Zones 3 to 9
When it pops up in late winter, snowdrop’s bright-green leaves send the message loud and clear that spring really is on its way. The snowdrop requires virtually no maintenance and spreads readily. For a larger collection of these 4- to 6-inch plants, simply lift and divide bulbs after they bloom, before the foliage dies back. Snowdrop is especially attractive scattered throughout naturalized settings and under deciduous trees and shrubs.
Viola tricolor • Zones 3 to 9
This old-fashioned classic produces a plethora of charming yellow, blue, violet and white flowers. Seeds planted the previous spring will bloom in fall and often hang on through winter. Johnny-jump-up thrives in containers, so if you live in a cooler climate, sow it in a planter and bring it inside when the temperatures plummet. You’ll be able to enjoy the colorful display even while there’s a blizzard raging outside.