There are some who might think that the grizzly cold of winter makes the landscape dull, and cold and grey. But that’s not necessarily the case. There are so many stunning winter wonders that thrive in these cold conditions. The beautiful flower displays of the Camellia sasanqua and japonica. The new growth on Native Eucalyptus, the flowers of Grevilleas. The quick flashy colour pallet of the perennials like the hellebore and fuschia. The quick growing snow peas and rapid fire pansies and snapdragons. There are endless possibilities to provide vibrance and excitement to your garden, you’ve just gotta get out there amongst it.
Australian native plants really are an underestimated workhorse in the garden. Due to their thousands of years of adaptation to the extreme conditions of Australia, they thrive where others fail. During winter, while annuals die off, or non natives whimper and wain, the flourish you get on your natives, is a sight to behold. With the cooler conditions, and the increase in rain, Eucalyptus species begin to shoot new growth. Often shaded with oranges and reds, the new growth emerges fully formed in miniature, and provides spectacular contrast to the older leaves of the tree. A beautiful specimen to behold, is the Corymbia ficifolia ‘Mini Orange’.
Another winter stunner is the Grevillia family. So many flower types, so many foliage options. Ground covers, small shrubs, large trees. Such a diverse range of hardy, wildlife friendly and spectacularly showy specimens. Some favourites at this time of year include the Grevillea banksii x G. bipinatifida ‘Peaches & Cream’. An absolute show stopper, this small shrub will grow to 2m x 2m. Its a hybrid of two stunning and hardy varieties. It provides great habitat for birds and bees, as well as a floral display that is out of this world.
In contrast to the big show, is a fantastic small shrub Grevillea called ‘Fireworks’. A cross between Grevillea ‘Pink Pixie’ and Grevillea alpina, this hybrid has become increasingly popular in recent years.
If Natives aren’t your thing, but you still want a blushing show of flowers and colour over winter, perhaps you might enjoy the extravagance of a Camellia. There are hundreds of hybrid varieties within the Sasanqua and Japonica species. Large glossy green leaves, tightly packed into a small shrub form, these hardy, shade loving plants are an ideal plant to have in your garden.
A personal favourite, the C. sasanqua ‘Sweet Jane’ is a prolific flowerer, forming pink buds at the end of Autumn, the cold rainy weather brings out her best. Starting out as soft pink buds, the flowers open to reveal a pure white heart that is highlighted by softening pink edges.
When it comes to Winter Wonders, there is none more versatile than the Hellebore. A shade loving winter flowering perennial, whose hybridisation has led to some really wonderful foliage shades and flower colours.
The pastel flowers, and leaf patterns look fantastic mass planted, or as a solo highlight on a window sill, or as an edge for a shady pathway.
For a quick burst of colour, look no further than winter perennial pansy. Compact, and abundant, the Pansy comes in a seemingly unlimited amount of colours and patterns. With new hybrids arriving all the time. Great for borders, rockeries, or window boxes and hanging pots. Simply removing the spent flowers by hand will promote more and more flowers all winter long. These flashy little wonders will brighten up your garden, and quickly reward you with patterns and bright colour.