Although some might think that there is nothing to enjoy in the garden at this time of year...think again! Wrap up warm and get out there in the fresh air for a wee while – you are sure to enjoy seeing the many interesting and amazing plants at this time of year.
If you’re lucky a small robin or blackbird will pop past and keep you company.
There are so many beautiful hardy plants displaying their wonders in this cold weather. There are some gorgeous trees which have tremendous colour in their trunks, Betula jacquemontii with its sheen of white and Prunus Serrula with a copper lustre are just a couple of examples. Stunning Cornus stems give an eye-catching display coming in bright reds, oranges and yellows. Sarcoccoca hookeriana which has such a strong sweet fragrance and don’t forget the Snowdrops dancing in the frosty morning sun, they are a sight worth seeing.
At this time of year, if you haven’t planted out your bulbs at the end of last year, the garden centre will have potted growing bulbs that you can enjoy in pots or plant out into the garden (if the ground isn’t frozen). Everything from Daffodil, Tulip, Puschkinia and Scilla to Muscari, Anemone, Iris and Crocus. A proper selection of jewels to tempt you.
Helleborus x hybridus must be one of my favourites at this time of year too. I adore the selection that we get in from the specialist growers every January. There is such an array of gorgeous colours with both single and double varieties to choose from. There is white through to yellow, pink, red and almost black. There is sure to be something to please everyone.
If part of your garden has an area sheltered from strong winds, where there is a fertile, humus rich soil that is moist and free draining, partially shaded from the sun, then the Hellebore would be really happy there. Their single or double flowers brighten a shaded area and they can form large spreading clumps. Mulch annually in the autumn.
They will give lots of pleasure to the gardener through winter and into spring. Remove any old foliage when the plants are showing their flowers.