Though many plants are dormant over winter, there are some you can grow for their flowers in December.
A great way to keep the garden looking fresh is by planting up winter containers. Garden centres will be selling a variety of winter-flowering plants to choose from. Need inspiration? Check out five of best winter containers for colour.
By growing winter-flowering plants, you’ll also benefit pollinators. On sunny days in particular, bees like buff-tailed bumblebees may emerge to feed.
Don’t forget to look at more ways to make your garden bee-friendly over winter.
Discover five of the best winter-flowering plants for December, below.
Commonly known as Algerian iris, Iris unguicularis is a winter and spring-flowering iris. The vivid lavender-coloured blooms exude a gentle fragrance, too. Tidy the foliage by pulling out old leaves.
Hyacinths are bulbous perennials, often grown indoors for their fragrant blooms. Forced hyacinths can be grown to flower in December, after which they can be planted out in the garden.
Clematis cirrhosa is a perennial climber with glossy, evergreen foliage. Flowers are usually a creamy colour, depending on the cultivar, and have a delicate citrus fragrance. As a group one clematis, they don’t need pruning, though this can be done lightly, straight after flowering, to restrict their size.
Helleborus x ericsmithii
Helleborus x ericsmithii is one of the first hellebores to emerge, doing so in midwinter and flowering until April. Cultivars to grow include ‘Emma’ and ‘Pirouette’.
These small, evergreen shrubs are valued for the colour they bring to winter containers. Planted in the ground, heathers will gradually spread, inhibiting weeds as they go. Popular with bees.
Focus on topiary
Making the garden look presentable in winter can be tricky, so it’s worth considering planting topiary shapes to pull everything together. Dotting their neatly clipped forms amongst beds and borders will help to draw the eye away from the tired and untidy foliage of other plants.