It doesn't need to be Spring to enjoy a pop of colour in your garden, there are plenty of flowers that will thrive even in the middle of winter. We've put together a list of our favourite winter blooms that are available in garden centres now and perfect for your garden beds or pots and containers.
Pansies and Violas
Pansies and Violas are undoubtedly one of the most delightful of all flowers to grow. With their delicately marked, almost hand-painted-looking dainty flowers they are a picture for months on end. You can find them in just about every colour of the rainbow with many featuring multicoloured blooms. Pansies and violas are edible flowers - get creative and try using them in your kitchen.
Known as the 'winter rose', Hellebores are winter gems in the flower garden. They thrive on neglect over the summer months and reward you with an abundance of gorgeous blooms over winter and spring. Hellebores are cold and frost tolerant and prefer a nice shady spot with good drainage and fertile soil. Under a tree or shrub is the perfect planting spot for this perennial flower. They provide a wonderful array of colour that can be picked for your vase indoors.
Polyanthus are the quintessential jewels of the winter garden, drawing you into their magical world of colour which can range form all shades of blue, black and purple through to reds and citrus tones of orange, lime and lemon. They look wonderful among the vegetable garden or mass planted with one or two contrasting colours. Although a perennial flower they are often treated as annuals, replanted each autumn. Regular deadheading will extend the flowering.
Cyclamens are one of the most popular of all the cool-season perennial flowering plants and are happy grown either indoors or out. Many cylamens are fragrant, which adds to the appeal of having them indoors. Once cyclamen has finished flowering you can either plant in a shady spot in the garden, or put it in a cool spot for the summer months.
Calendulas start flowering as the temperatures cool and continue through until the hottest part of the year. They readily germinate from seed and can be sown in situ where you want to grow them. Calendulas are fabulous because they add so much colour and provide a bight focus in the cool months. Calendula is also great as a companion plant for attracting bees and other pollinators.