Keep the yard and patio colourful even when the weather is grey...
How many rainy and grey days can we take before we're craving some bold colour amid the wet and gloomy weather? Being on the west coast means we're used to the rain, but that doesn't mean we have to give in to the winter blues! Sure, the official gardening season is over until spring, but with a few tweaks and a trowel, you can add a bit of life to those container gardens and flower beds to keep you smiling until May!
Ranunculus - A Rainbow Amid the Rain
The first on our list of winter-warriors is the bold and colourful Ranunculus! With so many colours to choose from you can actually plant a rainbow on your patio. These frost-hardy cool-season perennials love the west coast's milder winters, and will pop out of the ground and start blooming in late winter. For best results try keeping them in container gardens close to your house.
Helleborus - Sweet and Frosty
One of our favourite winter plants, the hellebores has gorgeous dainty blooms that come in whites, pinks, greens and purples. A victorian looking plant, also known as the "winter rose", it's sweet flowers are hard to resist. With beautiful foliage and non-stop blooms, you can wake up your yard and patio with these frost-resistant plants.
Primula - Passionate for Colour
You'll probably recognize these colourful ground plants, for their incredibly bright blooms in a variety of shades. A staple for the winter and spring garden, you can add them to all of your container arrangements or plant them as a border in your garden. It's easy to match your colour scheme, as primula come in almost every hue. You'll spot them in the garden centres mid winter.
Hamamelis (Witch Hazel) - Sun Spots
A surprising choice, with strange yellow mop-like blooms, the hamamelis is actually a tree or a shrub. Which means it will look fantastic year round in your garden and give you the added bonus of a burst of sunshine yellow flowers in the winter. To top it all off, witch hazel blooms have a sweet aroma to lure you into the garden, even in the colder weather!
Winter Heather (Erica carnea) - Persistent Violet
True to its name, the winter (or spring) heather produces it's purple flowers in the late winter and early spring, when most other plants are dormant. Even if the ground is covered in snow, the heather plant will surprise you with a burst of violet blooms! Each flower is a beautiful bell shape, ringing in the promise of spring.
Cyclamen coum - Hearty Blooms
This plant is often used as ground cover, or in container gardens, because during the winter and early spring it will product beautiful blooms. You can find the cyclamen flowering in pink, violet or white. The dark green heart-shaped foliage is also quite eye-catching and great for filling the space in your otherwise not-so-green winter garden.
Spurge (Eurphorbia) - Splashy Show Off
A strange looking plant, but one that lends welcome colour to a dreary winter yard. Euphorbia come in a variety of colours from lime green to pink. The tall stems feature bright shades that really make a splash in your container gardens or nestled in your flower beds. With year-long lush foliage, euphorbia (in all it's many varieties) remains one of the stalwart garden essentials.
Just because it's winter doesn't mean you can't get your gardening fix, dig a bit in the soil, and create a beautiful bright colourful paradise in your yard and patio.
We've put together a quick winter plant shopping guide for you to print (or save to your smart phone) and bring with you.