Brightening the Gloom of Winter

It’s getting chilly in the garden and winter will soon be upon us. The last of the summer’s bedding plants have now ended and the borders are bare.

If like me, you consider yourself to be of the genus ‘Plantaceae Obsessivivum’, you will value your garden even in the colder months. You will strive to strike against the gloom of Winter and add a splash of colour.

Top Tips for Winter Growing

For planters and pots, use a loam-based compost. John Innes No 2 is a good choice

  • Look for a sunny spot in the garden, away from strong winds and harsh frosts
  • Water only if the soil is totally dried out
  • Dead-head your flowers to help retain energy for future blooms

Autumn & Winter Bedding

I have put the following list together to help you select the best frost hardy bedding plants. They will not fail to add a hint of summer to your garden this winter.

  • Daises (Bellis)
  • Primrose
  • Ornamental Kale
  • Polyanthus
  • Pansy
  • Viola
  • Cyclamen Coum
  • Winter Aconites
  • Early flowering daffodils
  • Snowdrops
  • Dwarf Iris
  • Helleborus
  • Ornamental Cabbage
  • Heather
  • Ajuga
  • Lamium
  • Helichrysum Icicles
  • Vinca
  • Ivy
  • Wood Anemone
  • Forget-me-nots

Tips on getting the best from your hardy border

Remember, during autumn and winter, light levels and temperatures are at their lowest. Plants will to grow slowly during the colder, darker months. With this in mind, consider planting your hardy bedding closer together to hide any bare earth. There is little chance that each plant will overcrowd the other.

It is important to ensure that your border is free-draining. This can be achieve by a variety of methods such as raising the border level (raised border), or digging a drainage ditch around your border and filling it with pea gravel. Alternatively, you can plant your hardy bedding plants in containers and hanging baskets. Water once a week and avoid using water retaining gel during colder months. Winter friendly plants require little feed during the Winter.

James Middleton

An obsessive gardener since 1982. Day-time job - web designer and developer and University lecturer.

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