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Five Plants to Keep a Landscape Garden Looking Colourful in Winter

Just because it’s no longer the peak growing season doesn’t mean your garden shouldn’t be have plenty of colour over the months ahead. Here Compass Garden and Landscape Design, who offer a planting consultancy service in the Mendips and across south-west of England, identify five species of plants that will keep your outdoor space looking bright and colourful over the winter.


Winter-flowering varieties are particularly hardy and should be able to cope with frost, snow and ice. They can also act as weed suppressors and tolerate a little lime in the soil too. Heathers grow best in sunny spots in your garden, although they can tolerate some shade.

Their peak flowering season is from January to March, although some bloom as early as November. Most varieties of the Erica Carnea species – Darley Dale (pink), Springwood White and Albert’s Gold (golden green) – should give you plenty of colour.


These are very easy to grow so they are an ideal choice for gardeners without much experience. All they need is a sunny or partly shady spot and regular watering. They look good in window boxes, containers and hanging baskets. However, you can also plant them in beds too.

Pansies should provide some colour to your garden from October through till March. Heart’s Ease (purple/yellow), Solar Flare (reddish orange), and Sorbet Yellow are all colourful varieties to plant.

Holly Bushes

These provide plenty of greenery and red or orange berries over the winter period, and they help with Christmas festivities too. It is best to plant bushes in the winter months in a big hole with plenty of compost. They can also be grown from seed (collected from the berries from December to February).

If you want berries, you will need to plant a male and female plant to ensure cross-pollination.


Many people assume this is just a summer-flowering plant, but this is not so. The clematis cirrhosis variety will bloom from late autumn to early spring. The ‘Freckles’ variety will provide an attractive mix of yellow and purple flowers.

Although, in general, winter-flowering clematis prefer moist conditions, the cirrhosa variety should be kept dry, making it ideal for growing up a trellis or obelisk, or mixing in with shrubbery.


If you are looking for a shrub rather than a flower or a trailer, then this could be the one to plant. This is a low-maintenance and hardy shrub that can be grown in both pots and borders. Bonomiana Pink and Brushfields Yellow are among the most striking and colourful varieties.

Camellia ideally needs acidic soil and not too much sun (westerly or northerly-facing is best). Also, avoid planting them in areas that get a lot of rain (waterlogging can easily damage them) or wind.

Compass Garden and Landscape Design – a Planting Consultancy Service in the Mendips

At Compass Garden and Landscape Design, we have many years of experience in matching the right plants to the right soil and climatic conditions.

Thanks to our excellent contacts in the trade, we can often source the right plants for you at a much more competitive prices than you would be able to secure for yourself. Ideally, your choices should form part of an overall landscape garden design, so we can ensure your garden looks good (and colourful) all year round.

We have been engaged in garden design projects in Bath, Bristol, Bradford on Avon and many other towns and villages in the region for many years, so we don’t just know which plants but also which hard landscaping features will work well in your location.

After an initial meeting, we will carry out a full survey and some concept sketches, followed by another meeting and – if you are happy to proceed – a full garden design with 3D sketches if required. We’ll then help you source the contractors as well as the plants.

If you would like to know more about any of our services, follow this link and fill in the online form, or call us directly on 07920 051549.