Winter is not typically a gardener’s favourite season. A previously bright and happy garden can start to look run down as some plants lose their leaves and others stop flowering. But it doesn’t have to stay this way. Whether you’re choosing annuals for a quick fix of colour or perennials for a more long-term solution, you don’t have to be deprived of colour over the winter season with these plants.
Aloes are the backbone of South African winter gardens. Their fiery flowers instantly stand out in the winter sunshine and are appreciated by birds and other pollinators when blooms are scarce. These plants need to be established before they can flower prolifically, but they will reward your early efforts with winter colour year after year.
Antirrhinums are the perfect way to add a pop of colour to your beds in winter. With so many colours available, from soft blush and cream to bright pink and purple, you can tailor your choices to any area of your garden. They also make great cut flowers, allowing you to bring their stunning colours indoors too.
This is one plant that not only grows in cold winter weather, but thrives in it. Ornamental kale comes in a stunning range of cool colours from purple to cream that intensify when temperatures drop. Their textured leaves add continual interest throughout the winter months, interspersed with other leafy plants or even grown in containers.
Pansies & Violas
Pansies and violas are go-to annuals for winter colour. They are incredibly easy to grow and complement any bed or pot they are planted in. Choose one colour for a more harmonious look, or combine multiple different colours for a bright and happy display.
If you’re looking for larger winter blooms that will instantly attract attention, look no further than petunias. These classic garden plants have stunning colourful flowers that look great in beds and even better in containers. Choose Grandiflora petunias for the best performance over the winter season in most of South Africa.
The cute clusters of blooms on the popular Sweet Alyssum are a wonderful addition to any winter garden. White is one of the more popular colours, but there are also other choices for more adventurous winter gardeners. Remaining low and compact, they are ideal ground covers or filler plants for bright winter containers.