Many people don’t think there is anything to see in the garden at this time of year and yet there is a long list of plants working hard, right now, to excite your senses. So get outside and have a wander round.
If your garden is lacking in winter interest I thoroughly recommend plants such as Sarcococca humilis, Viburnum bodantense ‘Dawn’ and Lonicera fragratissima x purpusii as they will all knock your socks off with their fabulous perfumes and gorgeous flowers this winter. As well as smelling and looking fantastic they also provide vital nectar for any bees still flying around, like this one I caught on camera just a couple of days ago. It was brilliant to see the new planting from last winter has settled in and is successfully doing its job.
Helleborus orientalis, often referred to as the Lenten or Christmas Rose are also definitely worth finding a space for. Particularly, if you can look up into the drooping flowers. If not get down on your knees and lift the flower heads so you can really appreciate the fabulous flowers.
They are natives of the Eastern Mediterranean specifically Turkey and Greece and now come in a dazzling array of colours from White and Green through Pink and on to almost Black. Singles and double flowers all with varying levels of speckles. They are by far my favourite of all the Helleborus species. I can almost bring myself to forgive the fact they don’t have a dazzling scent to go along with their beautiful flowers. They are very hardworking perennials which provide us with wonderful palmate lush green leaves as a good backdrop to summer flowering perennials.
Stuck for winter inspiration? Cambridge Botanical Gardens has a great, if small ,winter garden that I thoroughly enjoyed walking through. Hodsock Priory has much more winter planting to enjoy than its lovely woodland snowdrop walk. and most of the RHS gardens have winter planting too to enjoy.
Even though the weather is set to turn seasonably colder this weekend wrap up warm and get out in the garden for a while. Having a quick wander round you will spy the tips of the bulbs now shooting through. The rewards of all your hard labours in the Autumn on their way to fruition. Hopefully this will warm your heart and fill you with hope that spring is slowly on its way. x