Winter flowers


If they could, they would. Have flowers through the winter, of course, and clearly most do not suspect the range of flowers that are possible through the dark and cold winter months. There is nothing magical about it, and certainly no skill or wisdom is required to have flowers every day through the winter in this northwestern Virginia garden. Winter Sun mahonia

No, the gardener does not want a garden chock full of yellow flowered mahonias (Mahonia x media ‘Winter Sun’, above), and only so many witch hazels (Hamamelis vernalis, below) can be fit into a garden of moderate size. These are wonderful plants, mildly to highly fragrant, and in cool winter temperatures they will often flower for a month or longer. Vernal witch hazel in January

Snowdrops (Galanthus, below) are a possibility. Even thousands require little space, and by planting a handful of varieties there might be flowers from January (perhaps even December) into March. What does it matter that one is hardly different from another?Snowdrops in late February

They’re flowers, in winter, and for the gardener growing more anxious by the week as winter drags on, these are no small solace. Of course, there are more winter flowers, but the gardener will at first be overjoyed by only a few flowers in January, then will be encouraged to add more. Soon enough, there will be flowers every day through the winter.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. I love and have all of these in my smallish garden. I also love Rijnveld’s Earl Sensation daffodils, which have bloomed for us here by the end of January.

    1. Dave says:

      I am kicking myself for not ordering more Winter aconites and early daffodils. The few early flowering daffodils rarely flower for me until mid to late March, I suspect because they are shielded by forest from the late winter sun.

      1. I just grabbed the last bags of aconite tubers at my local nursery, planning to put them in this weekend! It’s still very warm in this part of the Southeast.

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