Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Gardening Article: Winter Color for Your Garden

Summer is a beautiful time. Trees and gardens are often luscious green and different types of flowers bloom all sorts of wonderful colors. However, as soon as autumn hits these colors disappear almost overnight. Here, we will explore how you can make the best of the colors available to you over the winter season.




Create the Impression of a Full Garden

Keeping healthy topsoil through the summer is advised because it will help you to grow plants in the winter. However, you will be lucky if you can create color throughout your Garden. If you want to give the impression that your garden is full of color in the winter, plant the flowering plants right next to your door. This will offer the impression that your whole garden is full of life. The reality is that it is much better to have ten flowering plants next to one another then spread out all over the garden.

Plants

Of course, the best way to keep your garden looking full of color through winter is to sow plants that you know will be able to survive this period, regardless of the temperature.

Prunus Autumnalis Rosea – this plant will give your garden a nice white and pink color in winter. However, it is not very large, which means that you will only find it suitable in smaller gardens. It might work in larger gardens if you sow it near to your house.

Helleborus Niger – this plant is also known as the Christmas rose, because of its appearance. If you sow this plant in the shade, be ready to have a bloom of white roses with a wonderful yellow centre.

Mahonia japonica Bealei 'Leatherleaf mahonia' – this shrub is green all year round. However, during winter, it will erect yellow flowers, which will look amazing, especially if your garden is covered in a light blanket of snow.

Nandina domestica 'Heavenly Bamboo' – this shrub has leaves that turn a beautiful red in winter, which is an odd color to see at this time.

Chinese Witch Hazel – in autumn, witch hazel is a prominent yellow. Even though it does fade a bit, you will still be able to see the wonderful yellow throughout your garden in December and through to January.


Blue Grass

One of the best plants to keep your garden colorful year round is blue grass (aka Festuca glauca 'Blue Fescue Grass.’) This has a blue/grey foliage that covers your grass throughout the year. Growing roughly 20 cm high, this grass will stick out over a light blanket of snow, which looks simply amazing. Remember, that this height is a maximum and will depend on the quality of your topsoil.

Summary

Sometimes the winter season in the Northern Hemisphere seems like it goes on forever, so much so that some of us start to wonder if spring will ever come. However, by following some of the above steps, your topsoil will reap the rewards. Furthermore, you will have something beautiful to keep an eye on at winter, which will hopefully keep you occupied until summer.

Plant photos courtesy of Wikimedia.org.

About the author: This post was written by James Harper on behalf of Boughton Loam and Turf Management. James is an avid gardener and enjoys writing about his hobby.

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