As the winter solstice falls upon us and Jack Frost starts nipping at our noses, the temperature drop, shorter days, and the holiday hustle and bustle invariably get people’s minds off their gardens. But just because the season is hibernal doesn’t mean your green thumb should fall into a deep slumber. Green thumbs never hibernate. In fact, the time may be perfect to revisit your desire for a radiant balcony. Thompson & Morgan shares a list of seven plants that will brighten up your balcony this winter and keep your green thumb active even during the colder months.
Can you think of winter plants without picturing one of the UK’s favourite festive plants? In all honesty, Christmas just isn’t the same without holly’s iconic red berries popping against shiny, dark prickly green leaves in wreaths and garlands. Make your balcony the hot topic of the neighbourhood this winter season by planting a thick evergreen of your own. They can survive punishing cold and often persist well into late winter (at least until hungry birds finish them off).
2. Winter heathers
Evergreen, small, easy to grow, manageable, and long-flowering, winter-flowering heathers are a perfect choice of plants to perk up your balcony this winter. Ericas are fully hardy, completely smothered in bloom regardless of the wind and rain, and perfectly suitable container plants. Plant them in a container or a pot on your balcony, unwind with a warm beverage by the window, and watch them return each wintertime in wonderful shades of white, purple, and pink, livening up their black and white backdrop.
3. Skimmia japonica
Skimmia japonica ‘Rubella’ is glossy-leaved and covered in clusters of long-lasting dark red flower buds that last through the winter until they open to white-pink flowers in spring. And, when winter draws to a close and the container display has come to an end, you can bring them out in your garden to grow on.
Indoor bonsai trees are an ideal choice if your space is limited and you do not like going out in the cold but still wish to nurture your green thumb. The Golden Gate Ficus, Sago Palm, Gardenia, and the Dwarf Jade are a few options of these miniature evergreen trees perfect for small apartments. They are small and do not take a lot of space. Still, they are bound to be the life of the party in whichever room you choose to place them.
Not too many plants actually bloom at the peak of winter. Nevertheless, Britain’s freezing January snows are no match for hardy Hellebores. Thriving in the coldest time of year, this pretty winter gem, with its elegant flowers and evergreen foliage, is undoubtedly one of the plants that will brighten up your balcony this
6. Coral Bells, Heuchera
With their colourful foliage, coral bells will soon become your go-to plant for adding a pop of colour and some texture to your balcony on those darker days. They are pretty darn tough evergreens, so you can be confident plopping your heucheras into pretty much any lighting condition. Still, you probably want to make sure their flowers and beautiful foliage return the following year. If so, give your heuchera a bit of tender loving care during this winter.
7. Winter pansies
These dainty flowers are bred to survive frosty temperatures, slightly drooping during extreme conditions and bouncing back when temperatures rise. With their colourful varieties and cheeky ‘faces’, these are definitely the plants that will brighten up your balcony this winter. And, if properly planted and well cared for, they’ll come right back the next one, too.
Since the first seed catalogue was published in 1855, Thompson & Morgan has grown to become one of the UK’s largest Mail Order Seed and Plant companies. Through the publication of our catalogues and the operation of our award-winning website, Thompson & Morgan is able to provide home gardeners with the very best quality products money can buy.