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Gardening in the winter can seem like a tiresome chore with the cooler weather, torrential downpours and gale force winds. However, a gardening expert has explained that there are actually plenty of plants that flower in winter that can add some well-needed colour to your garden. Gardening expert and Managing Director of Hopes Grove Nurseries in Kent, Morris Hankinson, has shared exclusively with Express.co.uk which “low maintenance” plants you can add to your garden now that will flower through winter.
Morris said most of the plants in his list are “low maintenance” and require little work over the winter months.
These are Morris’ top picks:
Morris said: “With a choice of varieties that will flower from midwinter through to late spring, our favourite is ‘Susan Stone’ with its perfectly formed blush pink flowers nestling against glossy evergreen leaves.”
Morris’ top picks include Viburnum Bodnantense Dawn, that flowers intermittently all winter, and Viburnum Tinus or the pink-tinged Viburnum Tinus Eve Price.
He added: “Both display colourful buds and flowers from November until May above their evergreen leaves.”
Morris described these as “colourful, bright and cheerful flowers” that are available in shades of yellow and orange.
He also recommended the new variety “Soft Caress” for smaller gardens and containers.
Morris’ choice for winter fragrance:
Morris said: “Choice shrubs that will fill your garden with fragrance during the short winter days, ‘Daphne odora’ is a tried and trusted old favourite flowering reliably each year from January onwards. Its perfume is intoxicating!”
Sarcococca or Sweet Box
The gardening expert said this low growing evergreen shrub is practically “zero maintenance”.
They have a strong scent that will last until late winter and come in lots of different varieties.
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Chimonanthus or ‘Wintersweet’
Morris said these are “delightfully scented” with red/purple centred, sulphur-yellow flowers from November until February.
Winter Honeysuckle or Lonicera fragrantissima
Morris said these are not the most show-stopping shrub when it comes to looks but they deserve a place in your garden on account of their “exquisitely-scented” white flowers.
The plant produces the flower from December until March, earning the plant a “must-have” status for any winter garden.
Unlike the above, these plants have “dazzling” stems which can vary from yellow, purple, red or orange.
Morris said: “After the leaves drop in autumn, pair them with early flowering bulbs like snowdrops or crocus planted underneath.
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“If you have space, plant them between the bright white stems of Himalayan Birch.”
The gardening pro said this is the only plant on the list that might require more maintenance.
He explained: “To get the bright colour, you need to chop them off almost at ground level every spring.
“Then, over the summer, new stems grow up again and don’t look like anything through the summer.
“You get to the autumn, the leaves start falling off and you think ‘oh wow, look at those lovely bright red or yellow or orange stems’.”
Low-growing plants for colourful winter containers and ground cover:
Heucheras and Heucherellas
These come in a range of leaf colours from apricot to yellow, purple and silvery tones.
They are easy to care for and keep most of their leaves all winter.
Morris said: “The ‘Elephant’s Ears’ plant was a recurring theme in Gertrude Jekyll’s garden designs and practically a century later they are still very popular.
“Gorgeous oversized foliage turns to hues of red in the colder months and the carpet of foliage erupts with candles of brightly-coloured flowers in late winter.
“The best bit, they are so easy to grow with hardly any care needed.”
Winter flowering heathers
These are perfect for a splash of colour in your winter containers, or a bigger swathe in borders or beds.
Either way, they have the potential to flower from November right through to April if different varieties are planted together.
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