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What are the best winter flowering shrubs?

What are the best winter flowering shrubs?

Here we are again in January, Happy New Year to you all. I have no idea where the time goes!

As I sit here, on a rather grey January day, and gaze out into the garden, I do long for a bit of Winter colour to cheer up the borders and pots on the patio.

I know it won’t be long until those much-prized snowdrops make an appearance, and I can already see the tops of the Spring flowering bulbs poking their tips up through the soil but I can get a little impatient at this time of year so Ken and I will be getting out there on Sunday and planting a few more Winter flowering shrubs.

Winter-flowering shrubs are a great addition to the garden. They work so hard to bring a little colour and are absolutely heaven s(c)ent for those early pollinators who are desperately seeking out a little sustenance.

So, I’ve compiled a little shopping list of some of my favourites for beds and borders, for pots and containers and for fragrance:

Winter flowering shrubs for beds and borders

1. Forsythia

This hard-working shrub is an absolute must for me in the garden. Our particular favourite here at Plants2Gardens is Weekend Totally smothered in gorgeous and vibrant yellow blooms its creates a real spectacle in the border in March. Low maintenance and fuss-free, just requiring a bit of prune each year, it really is a good-doer as Ken would say!

2. Cornus

This is a bit of a cheat one as it doesn’t flower in Winter but it had to make the list as it gives a real flash of Winter colour in a different, but non-the-less breath-taking, way. The stems on a leafless cornus during the Winter months are a beauty to behold. Striking reds, greens, yellows and oranges are all available depending on your fancy but I do love a traditional red stem on mine. Each time its catches your eye you can’t help but stare! Miracle is a great variety to try, easy to grow and looks great all year round with its pretty pink variegated foliage and white flowers in Summer.

Winter flowering shrubs for pots and containers

3. Viburnum Tinus

There are so many varieties of Viburnum tinus to pick from these days and it’s not hard to see why. Ideal for planting in pots on the patio or by the door so you can really enjoy the pretty flowers on this long lasting, evergreen shrub. I love Eve Price as the buds start off such a deep deep pink before opening up to delicate pink and white blooms in clusters. These gorgeous flowers seem to last an age before turning into dark blue berries which not only look lovely but give the birds a tasty little snack too.

4. Camellia

One of the first plants I tend to think of when I think of Winter flowering shrubs is a Camellia. The showy blooms in all manner of colours and shades always seem to be defiant in their displays at this time of year. Evergreen, low maintenance and super reliable they really are indispensable in the Winter Garden.

If you don’t have naturally acidic soil do not be put off from growing these stunners as there are many varieties that are ideal for growing in a container, just remember to use some ericaceous compost or Sulphur Soil to give them the perfect growing conditions, it’s the least we can do to thank them for their bountiful blooms! This year I’m adding Brushfield’s Yellow to the patio, I find the ruffled inner petals creating an almost pom-pom like effect fascinating!

Winter flowering shrubs for fragrance

It seems a little cheeky to expect flowers and fragrance during the Winter months I know, but there are lots of shrubs that will give you just that in the garden right now so it would be rude not to give them a little space.

5. Sarcococca

Also known as Christmas Box, Sarcococca’s have it all. Evergreen, glossy foliage, pretty flowers and a strong and delicious fragrance! They will grow merrily in borders or containers but I tend to pop mine in a pot by the front door so I get a waft of yummy scent each time I come and go. It’s not been easy to narrow the field down to one to recommend but after a bit of rumination I’m going with Dragons Gate simply due to the amount of flowers it gives and it’s lovely compact shape.

6. Viburnum Bodnantense Dawn

Another Viburnum has made the list but this time it’s Bodnantense. An absolute cracker, Dawn will grow pretty much anywhere in the garden as long as its doesn’t get too dry. This deciduous shrub is low maintenance and un-fussy which will always make it welcome in our garden but the star of the show really is the blooms. Pretty pink and blush white trumpet shaped flowers appear throughout the Winter and wow – the sweet fragrance is just divine!

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