It's easy to decide what to plant in your garden for the upcoming spring and summer seasons, but populating fall and winter gardens needs a little more thought and preparation. Only certain plants, flowers, and vegetables are able to withstand the cold temperatures and frozen ground. If you enjoy spring gardening, you should definitely consider keeping your backyard in bloom all year long.
Winterberry holly is a slow-growing shrub that produces bright red berries and can survive through the winter with ease. The red berries draw in colorful birds when the season is right, which is a nice addition to a dull, cold garden. They do require a lot of water — about one inch per week — and enjoy being in full sun or partial shade. Winterberry holly is fairly easy to tend, but requires a generous amount of space, growing as tall and wide as 15 feet. Keep in mind the berries are mildly toxic for both people and some animals.
The cyclamen plant blooms with beautiful rose-pink flowers in late winter and early spring. One type, with magenta leaves, can last throughout the harsh winter until March. They require minimal maintenance and can grow in pretty well any kind of soil. Make sure not to plant them too deeply, however, or they may not bloom. Cultivating cyclamen is an easy way to add a pop of pink to the white winter snow.
The spring snowflake is a lightly scented flower with white, drooping blooms with green dots on the bottom — they resemble the bottom of a flowing skirt. Flowering in late winter and early spring, the spring snowflake is easy to grow since it thrives in lower beds, rock gardens, and under trees, alike. This plant enjoys full sun or just a bit of shade and is deer- and rabbit-resistant!
Catmint is known to attract lots of butterflies and hummingbirds come spring, and it's a super low maintenance plant that can grow in dry soil conditions. The compact herb smells slightly of mint and forms aromatic gray and green leaves all year. In summer and early fall, it grows tall stalks of beautiful blue flowers and purple calyxes. The foliage will die in the winter, protecting it and preparing to bloom again next year.
The camellia — a large evergreen shrub with bright pink, bushy flowers — is known as the queen of winter flowers. If properly taken care of, will bloom from October all the way until May. There are six different flower forms that can grow, which are all gorgeous shades of pink and red. Plus, they are ranked as one of the best flowering shrubs!
Hyssop plants blossom with beautiful blue flower spikes. They are typically planted in the fall so their root system can develop during the winter. That means, come spring, the hyssop is ready to bloom. This species thrives in the sun and tends to attract lots of bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, which are a welcome addition to any garden. As an extra bonus, the flowers are edible! You can add them to salads, make herbal tea, and more.
Hot weather can prevent ornamental cabbage and kale leaves from turning green and cause their stems to elongate, so it is best to plant them in the fall. These decorative species can withstand freezing temperatures, surviving all winter. Although they enjoy the cooler weather, they need to be watered often and like to be in full sun. Just remember that kale and cabbage labeled as "ornamental" are not edible — but they certainly make a beautiful groundcover.
if you plant them properly, your potato crop will make it through the cold winter months. Potatoes grow underneath the soil, which protects them from frost and harsh weather. With the right soil and space, the potatoes can be left under the ground and they will come back again, year after year. Any leaves or stems above ground will die off at the end of the season, but the potato underneath will be ready to sprout again come spring.
Pussy willow trees usually bud in late winter and early spring. Their many branches are dotted with soft little catkins, which give them their name and have made them a favorite of gardeners everywhere. Pussy willows like to have their soil constantly moist and prefer full to partial sun. Keep in mind that they can grow quite tall and may become invasive since their roots can spread so far and deep.
Although it doesn't have much of a scent, winter jasmine is a gorgeous shrub with yellow flowers that pops against the white snow. This species often blooms in January and is a low-maintenance plant. Winter jasmine isn't too picky about the quality of the soil but does prefer well-draining placement and full sun. It can grow to 15 feet tall but is easy to control with pruning.