Lovely blue lights in the background.

A few tips for a colourful winter garden

With the winter fast approaching, our beautiful colour displays are slowly disappearing from our gardens. Wouldn’t it be nice to see a little bit of colour even during the dormant growing period? 


Ok, we can’t promise you a garden full of flowers this time a year, that would require dozens of camellias (and they are not suitable for all climates). Instead, we will share a few tips on how to use bulbs, bedding plants, pots and garden lights.

Magnificent display of crocuses in winter settings
Magnificent display of crocuses in winter settings

However, there are several winter flowering shrubs that you could include in your planting scheme. If you would prefer those, we will cover this in full soon.


How to make the best out of:

  • Bulbs
  • Bedding plants
  • Pots
  • Garden lights
  • Herbaceous and grasses


As you all know, bulbs are the soul of any winter outdoor display. They bring our gardens to life with the first rays of late winter sun.


There are many plants that can be planted as bulbs. Some of the most popular include daffodils, tulips, crocuses and muscari or hyacinths.


But there is more to bulbs then it would meet the naked eye. It’s all about how to use them.


If you are planting bulbs in your flower borders, use them to fill the gaps. Larger plants such as daffodils and tulips should be planted in the middle of the border as close to evergreen shrubs as possible, or ideally, in front.


The larger greenery provides an exceptional background for colour display in front.


You can underplant the daffodils with crocuses and combine tulips with muscari. For best possible effect, combine the two of your favourite colours.


Our recommendation is to surround daffodils with blue or purple crocuses and red tulips with blue muscari or hyacinths.


For more colours schemes and combinations click here.

Combination of yellow, blue and purple crocuses
Combination of yellow, blue and purple crocuses
Lovely display of red tulips and muscari
Lovely display of red tulips and muscari

If you prefer to keep the colours separate, there is no rule against it, but consider this. 


Try to keep cooler colours such as blue or purple closer to the house and warm colours e.g., yellow and red further away. 


 If you have read our article on visually enlarging any garden, you know to use cooler colours further away and warmer colours closer to the house. 

But let’s face it. We don’t get to see our gardens much in the winter apart from the occasional glance out of the window. 


By reversing the colour scheme, the warm colours will appear much closer, which in result will bring warmer feeling to the entire outdoor space.  



Bedding plants. 

A winter garden desires a winter look. 


We appreciate the limitation of winter bedding plants and their use. Pansies, primroses and cyclamens are among the few to include.


If you have a larger bed to fill, consider using blue colour as an ‘underpinning’. 


Nothing represents winter better than a snow and blue colour resembles just that, especially in winter moonlight.  


Again, you can combine blue and yellow or blue and red using pansies, violas or primroses. 


If you are looking for a true winter look, try aiming for blue bedding combined with silver-looking cineraria.  

Silver foliage of cineraria in the winter
Silver foliage of cineraria in the winter

If you opt for cyclamens, they don’t come in blue colour or at least not to my knowledge. But you could use white and pink or pink and purple interplanted with yellow daffodils. A truly outstanding display.  



Pots can be a great addition to your winter garden settings. They bring colour to empty areas such as patios, paths or terraces. 


We understand that many people have different preferences, and your landscape style plays a huge role when selecting pots. We always try to unite these two elements. 


But hear us out. Just for the winter, if you can, opt for a blue once again. Daffodils, the nation’s favourites, look astonishingly great when combined with cooler coloured bedding. 


Don’t believe our pot colour pick? Just compare these two images. I know, one is summer, and one is winter display, but the colour scheme remains.  


Which one looks better and makes more sense?

Yellow and blue colour combination in blue pot
Yellow and blue colour combination in blue pot
Yellow and blue combination in terracotta pot
Yellow and blue combination in terracotta pot

We go with the first option. 



Garden lights.  

Do you have a feeling, at times, that there is something missing in your garden? Well, it just might be the lighting.  


But more about that later. We will cover the subject of light selection and placement in full next time. 


However, if you already have your lights in situ, here is what you can do. Change their colour to white or very light blue. Nothing will resemble the acrylic-looking winter moonlight colour than that.

Lovely blue lights in the background.
Lovely blue lights in the background

Herbaceous and grasses 

If you are looking to enhance your borders with a little winter or even all year colour colour, this could be for you.


Plant Hellebores in the centre of the border and grasses in front. Our pics? Festuca glauca and Carex ‘Evergold’. 


 In the winter, the Helleborus will provide you with the flowers whereas in the summer it creates an exceptional background for colour in front. 


As mentioned before, this is a wonderful year-round combination.

Festuca glauca
Festuca glauca
Carex ‘Evergold’
Carex ‘Evergold’

Carefully selected plants and flowerpots can bring life and colour in your winter garden that can put a smile in your eyes with every glance out of the window and these were only a few of our tips. 


Just remember, when you are choosing plants or a colour scheme, the rule no. 1 is to opt for what you like best.

christmas tree

Good luck.

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