Don’t miss these winter stars arriving in garden centres for the new planting season
Nothing says spring more than a flowering cherry tree in full bloom. Flowering cherry varieties break into colour as early as July or August. As well as the vast array of flowering cherries, there are flowering crabapples, magnolias and fruit trees all blooming in early spring and ready for planting over the winter months.
There’s still time to plant tulips, hyacinths, daffodils and other spring flowering bulbs. For maximum impact plant them in generous groupings or close together in large pots.
Cheap and cheerful winter flowers such as pansies and polyanthus are fantastic for pots and will bloom right through till spring, all the better if you feed them and trim spent blooms. Sow seed, or plant seedlings (available in punnets, six packs or as instant ‘potted colour’) now.
Why not turn your back yard into a food forest? With judicious choice of fruit tree varieties you can plan to have fruit for picking almost all year round. Winter is the time to plant deciduous fruit trees such as apples, pears, peaches, apricots and plums. More about fruit trees on page 16.
COLOURS OF AFRICA
Beautiful South African proteas and Leucadendrons bring colour to the garden during winter and spring. These spectacular shrubs are wonderful for picking and offer a choice of growth habits from dwarf to tall. Also from Africa, the Aloes provide magnificent winter colour for frost free gardens.
Winter is the traditional planting time for the flowers of love. Prepare your ground and decide on your favourite roses so you’ll be ready for planting when the new season’s supply of freshly grown rose bushes arrive in garden centres around Queen’s Birthday weekend. More about roses on page 23.
Lily bulbs planted into well drained soil or a large container in winter will give you beautiful flowers for many summers to come. Look out for the mouthwatering selection of colourful and fragrant varieties which arrive in garden centres in May.
Iceland poppies and Shirley poppies bloom in winter and early spring. Their translucent silken flowers sit atop slender stems and they are among the most picturesque of vase flowers. Seed and seedlings are available for planting now.
Winter is a great time to choose and plant camellias, while you can see them in bloom. You can depend on these everlasting evergreen shrubs to bring flowers to your garden every year in autumn, winter or spring. Choose from the huge range of varieties to suit your needs. There are camellias for pots and those that can be trained as hedges, wall plants or small trees.
In winter when trees lose their leaves and flowers subside, shapely evergreen shrubs are worth their weight in gold. The clean cut shapes of hedges and topiaries add character and charm in the starkness of winter. New Westringia ‘Blue Gem’ is one of many compact shrubs ready for winter planting.
BERRIES BY CHRISTMAS
Strawberry plants are available for planting from mid winter. Consider planting a range of varieties to give you fruit from spring till autumn. They are among the best fruits to grow in small gardens or containers, but be sure to feed them well.
Japanese cherry blossom (Prunus × yedoensis) with tulips and blue violas in early September.
Apple trees in bloom
Camellia ‘Bonsai Baby’
Westringia ‘Blue Gem’