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Can anyone recommend some more unusual plants for winter colour, be it leaves or flowers?


By Mustang

Suffolk, United Kingdom Gb

Bit of a budding amateur so need some (haha - more like lots of!) help - so far there are violas and hellebores - but I want something else to brighten up my friend's garden for the colder months.

All help gratefully received :)



There's not much that will look good flower wise December/January. You could get some small evergreens, like Euonymus microphyllus, or small Skimmias (usually small versions of evergreens are to be found in good garden centres at this time of year). Also bulbs, like snowdrops and aconites, both of which flower very early, followed by crocus, usually. Polyanthus or primula, sold in bedding trays now, are worth considering - they at least stay nice and green all winter and, if its mild, will start flowering March, maybe earlier.

5 Oct, 2009


Cyclamens perhaps? I find snowdrop and aconites are better if planted in the green as may not always flower the first season.
Winter Honeysuckle -Lonicera fragrantissima and Winter flowering Jasmine if you can find them? As Bamboo said Primulas as they come in so many variations.
How about bowls of bulbs such as Hyacinths on your neighbours windowsills?

5 Oct, 2009


Gaultheria is bright if you plant it in ericaceous compost, and winter flowering heathers. Cyclamen are good, but don't last right through - especially if they get wet - they may rot!

Heucheras are absolutely brilliant for leaf colour! They're everywhere at the moment - a huge choice - and they can be planted in pots or the soil.

5 Oct, 2009


Sorry, Denise - we pressed 'submit' at the same moment! That wasn't a comment on yours......:-))

5 Oct, 2009


I agree with you Spritzhenry I just use cyclamen for flower colour on the patio now until the weather finishes them off. What fun we could have had if the question had been what to plant for next year?

5 Oct, 2009


Pulmonaria Rubra starts really early - December some years.

5 Oct, 2009


Bergenia has large pink heads of multiflowers and very big leaves which, tho' evergreen often turn reddish in winter. Ours flowered in late January and then again during Summer. It is also a good ground cover plant and let it spread just as far as you want it.

5 Oct, 2009


Evergreen shrubs will also give you colour - Euonymus fortunei 'Emerald and Gold' or 'Silver Queen' are both variegated (green with, yellow and white respectively). If you have space then Cornus alba 'Sibirica' will give you brightly coloured (red) stems in the winter - best seen with the sun shining on/through them, or for golden yellow stems try Cornus sericea 'Flaviramea'.

5 Oct, 2009


Ooooh! glad you asked this question, Mustang! I've now got some different ideas for my long window box.

5 Oct, 2009



Thanks so much to everyone for being so helpful! So many lovely plants to choose from!

Right - off down to the garden centre with my pennies!!!

x Mustang

6 Oct, 2009


There are several varieties of cordyline that will provide a bright red or dark red foliage, there is festuca glauca, the blue grass. Different varieties of cornus (dog wood) have coloured branches when the foliage drops off - red, yellow and lime green, ericas and heathers will add a purple, white and pink edge to a border. Grevillea rosmarifolia has evergreen foliage and large orange flowers through the Winter. Coprosmas offer a large variety of colour and euonymous has a variety of leaf colour from white and green, emerald and green. As Spritz says you can plant heucheras as they offer a variety of foliage colour. The list does go on......

6 Oct, 2009


I hope Mustang has LOTS of pennies - or even pounds - to spend! There's so much to choose from.

Have fun, Mustang. :-))

6 Oct, 2009


Nobody mention dwarf conifers!...shame on you all :0)

10 Oct, 2009


Ooops! Sorry - Yes, I do use them as a centre to a large pot....:-))

10 Oct, 2009


i got some nice choices too see you soon

11 Oct, 2009


Cool - u 2!

12 Oct, 2009

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