Winter Flowers that Will Brighten up Your February!

We all need a bit of cheering up in the new year. Christmas festivities are behind us but we’re still faced with cold days and early nights. Don’t fear – flowers are the perfect way to brighten your home and garden and bring freshness and colour into your life as you begin 2015. There are lots of plants that brave the harsh conditions of winter to produce beautiful flowers and berries this time of year. Here are some great choices of winter blooms that are sure to bring you cheer and hopefully good fortune for the new year!

bloomingIridescent Irises. Your winter walks are no doubt characterized by bare trees and bare ground with few flowers in site, but one surprisingly hardy winter bloom is the iris. They defy the tough conditions of these cold months to spread their delightful purple magic sprouting from their evergreen leaves. The iris is native to the Mediterranean so if you’re planting them in a British garden it’s best to make sure they’re in a sunny spot. Plant them in winter and nurture them during the first growing season, but after they’re established they can be left completely alone and will thrive. You can expect their delicate mauve and purple flowers between October and March.

Of course, you don’t have to leave your irises outside. You can either cut them at the stem or replant them in a pot to display in the house – once in a warm room, they’ll quickly bloom. Irises come in a range of shades, from dark blue to mauve, deep purple, yellow and creamy white. Cut irises look beautiful arranged in a tall vase on their own (and you’ll find lots of these available at flower shops this time of year) but they can also be enhanced with different flowers and foliage. White lilies with blue or purple irises creates a truly elegant arrangement to brighten your home in winter. For a more rustic look, make that purple pop with green foliage and cabbage flowers to complement them. You could pair contrasting purple and yellow irises for a bright and cheerful bouquet, or add create a delicate arrangement using mauve irises and complementary shades and textures like light blue hydrangeas and lily of the valley.

A winter’s cyclamen. Another plant that is deceptively delicate is the cyclamen. These hardy plants flower in late winter and early spring when little else is blooming. Like other woodland flowers, they occur naturally in shady spots by water and under trees and will thrive in your garden as long as they don’t get too much sun. These sweet little flowers come in shades of white, pink and red and bloom from a bed of patterned green leaves. There are many different species – some more able to cope with frost than others, so make sure you choose the right ones for your garden. Florists usually sell the variety that is happier indoors, and you can find lots of lovely potted arrangements to add colour to your home or make the perfect gift.

Branching out. Bushes and shrubs that look non-descript for much of the year come alive with delicate blooms in the winter months. Wintersweet, known as the ‘ice flower’ in Iran, has tiny yellow and white scented flowers that will bring a spray of colour to your garden. Cut off some of the branches and bring them inside, or look our for them at flower markets and shops.

Witch hazel is another winter flowering plant that adds a dash of colour to brighten up the season – display unusual, spidery blooms in shades of orange, red and yellow. Long known by Native Americans for its medicinal properties, witch hazel is still used to treat a range of conditions. This incredibly hardy plant can survive frosts with flowers intact and will add colour and intrigue to a winter flower arrangement.

Another evergreen to consider for your garden is Sarcococca, whose name means Christmas box or sweet box. Originally from China, this plant will produce pretty red and white flowers in winter all the way to the stem, followed by red berries. Pussy willow is another popular branch for this time of year, and is the favourite flower for Chinese New Year: the soft, furry buds producing bright green shoots represent prosperity for the coming year. Of course, you can also incorporate bare winter branches into any flower display – and even spray them gold or silver for a winter wonderland look.

Seasonal favourites. And of course, there are many flowers that don’t sprout in British soil but are still very much associated with Christmas with their crimson shades lending themselves to wintery arrangements. Amaryllis are truly striking potted flowers and make perfect gifts. Three vibrant blooms are produced by a single stem in white, pink or red, and can be potted in the vessel of your choice decorated with any metallic and sparkle you choose. You can find these in plenty of shops and every florist this time of year. Originally from South Africa, these audacious flowers make the perfect winter house plant and will forever be associated with Christmas in the UK. You can also arrange them as cut flowers in a vase with branches such as silver birch or pussy willow.

The Christmas flower of Mexico, where it is originally from, and a favourite festive flower for the UK is the poinsettia. You will have seen it in every supermarket and florist this year, and it makes a wonderful addition to your Christmas decorations. Even as this holiday passes, the poinsettia will keep for several weeks bringing a vibrant, luxurious dash of red to your home. It can also play the starring role in arrangements that incorporate winter foliage, baubles and pine cones.

So don’t be down this February – take a look at the beautiful plants and flowers bringing colour and joy to gardens this year, and bring some of this cheer into your home.


Winter Flowers that Will Brighten up Your February! was last modified: February 25th, 2015 by Todd

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