By Michael Jenkins
While it’s still summer for many of us, now is the time to start planning for fall and winter. While we typically associate flowers with spring and summer, the reality is that you can have them in your garden year round. Your fall and winter garden doesn’t need to be a drab affair—there are plenty of ways to add color and vibrancy to your garden during the cooler months! Let’s take a look at some plants that bloom during the fall and winter, and how they might fit in to your garden!
- Camellia (Camellia japonica) is a classic choice, beloved around the world for its large, beautiful flowers. An evergreen shrub, camellia is often used as a hedgerow or landscaping feature. Depending on the variety, camellia flowers may be pink, white, red, yellow, or even lavender. Different varieties of camellia also flower at different times, so with a little planning you can have a ever changing burst of color through the fall and winter!
- Witch Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana): A stately plant marked by bright yellow blooms, witch hazel is known for its distinctive, threadlike petals and lovely scent. A large shrub, witch hazel is native to North America and is a welcome winter garden addition, often flowering in the snow! Witch hazel also offers another distinctive feature. Its seed pods disperse seeds by popping and ejecting them widely. The distinctive sound of a witch hazel seed pod going off is audible up to 50 feet away! While this poses no danger to humans or animals, it’s a fun, unique feature of this colorful plant.
- Fragrant Daphne (Daphne odora) is another welcome sight in winter, with sweet-smelling flowers in shades of pink, white, and purple growing in clusters on its stems. The yellow-edged leaves are lovely in their own right, and the overall effect is quite striking! A smaller shrub, Fragrant Daphne grows to a height of about 4 feet/1.2 meters. Planted close to your home, this plant adds a lovely touch to any fall or winter garden.
- Christmas Rose (Helleborus spp) blooms in early winter in mild climates, but may bloom in the spring where the winter is colder. Also known as Lenten Rose, this small plant offers many advantages to the home gardener. A hardy perennial, Christmas Rose likes to grow in dense clusters, making it an ideal accent marker for landscaping or bed gardening. Well suited to a variety of conditions, this lovely plant and its multicolored flowers are pest resistant as well. This makes it an ideal choice for gardeners contending with rabbits, deer, groundhogs, or other wildlife.
Color is not confined to spring and summer; with a little planning your fall and winter garden can be a beautiful, multi-hued affair and bring some refreshing life to the those seasons. This is only a partial list of flowering plants for a fall or winter garden, so if you have ideas or examples to share, please let us know!