Sarah Shoesmith was awarded the Centenary Prize by the Royal Horticultural Society in 2003, and gained a Distinction in the Diploma in Garden Design from The English Gardening School. She is passionate about gardening for wildlife and growing food, and writes about gardening for magazines and other sites.
Winter scented plants will lift your spirits at any time of year. When the long, warm days of summer are a distant memory, the delicious scent of fragrant flowers is a welcome tonic.
Many winter flowering shrubs are perfume powerhouses, and their fragrances can be enjoyed from all around the garden. Their blooms have such heady scents to attract pollinators, which is no mean feat, given that there are relatively few pollinators around in winter. It works, though! On a sunny day, the sight of early emerging bees homing in on scented flowers is a wonderful sight. Continue reading “Winter scented shrubs”
Wintergreens, or evergreen perennials, are a valuable group of perennial plants that add texture, shape and colour to our borders during the dark days of winter, long after the flower-filled days of summer are over. These plants have so much more to offer to our gardens than their flowers because they don’t die back in winter like herbaceous perennials.
‘Wintergreens’ are not necessarily green, despite what their name suggests. Think glaucous blues, silvery greys, sumptuous deep purples, uplifting yellows, gentle tracings of pale variegation, and glowing red-edged foliage. The palette is surprisingly varied, so winter borders need never be dull. Continue reading “Growing wintergreen perennials”
The window of opportunity for planting bulbs to flower for Christmas and New Year may be closing, but there’s still time to plant beautiful displays that will bring colour and fragrance into your home during the cold, dark days of January and February.
It’s time to plant bulbs and corms to brighten the dark days of late winter and early spring. These heartwarming splashes of colour take up so little space that they may be grown in a pot on a doorstep or balcony, or in a window box. Even better, they can be lifesavers for early emerging bees.
There’s a sunny corner of my garden where creeping thyme grows in a gravel path. It may be barely 8cm tall, but still provides a valuable oasis of nectar amongst acres of fields where few flowers grow. This tiny butterfly magnet demonstrates that even paths, containers, and window boxes planted with nectar-rich flowers can play a vital role in supporting butterflies, by providing an essential pit stop for them to refuel as they travel across fields, towns or cities.