Fair weather or foul, nature finds a way to create variety and interest in the garden, and winter is no exception. Whether they’re growing through a crust of snow, or showing off their bright colors while falling temperatures force you indoors, hardy winter flowers are doing more than just surviving when the winter rolls in; they’re thriving. These garden inhabitants create interest, texture and a touch of the unexpected in the landscape when your springtime favorites are taking a long winter’s nap, and they do it with style.
First up, Winter Irises- these beauties generally bloom in January, and are mainly in shades of purple & blue. They look stunning planted in groups, and they come back year after year as long as your soil isn’t soggy. You can also have them indoors in a pot to enjoy the scent up close and then plant them outside when they are done flowering. There is a cheery yellow winter iris too which also has a fabulous scent, but is not quite as likely to return every year.
Another winter beauty best bought in pots is Snowdrop. They multiply over the years- but do plant them in groups to start; a single plant or two look a bit lonely. As they clump up more fully you can gently split and move them when they are finished for the season.
‘Winter Buttercups’ are wildlife friendly, tough as boots in the snow, and will often multiply and make a splash of sunshine! Planted underneath a deciduous tree – where other plants will often not grow they are a real lift! They are much better bought as growing plants in pots versus dried bulbs in bags.
So if you are longing for spring right about now and are craving a bit of colour and cheer in the garden, don’t wait any longer. Exercising a green thumb when you have to bury it in the snow takes dedication, but these flowers deserve the effort. Give winter gardening a try; you might just enjoy it.