It’s the end of January and some of my favorite winter plants are on full display. Keep your eyes peeled for some of these beauties, or perhaps they are already growing in your garden.


Diana Witch Hazel, or Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Diana

Every winter I am reminded of the magic that is witch hazel. Although it looks fairly inconspicuous most of the year, this beauty will fill your garden with intoxicating fragrance during the shortest, quietest days of winter.


Purple winter cabbage

Why doesn’t every winter flower bed have cabbages planted in it? They are almost too pretty to eat and come in such a spectacular range of colors – blue-green, lime-green, white and green, purples, reds, etc. Tuck in some swiss chard and you’ve got a stunning display of winter edibles.


Autumn Higan Cherry, or Prunus subhirtella var. autumnalis

Oh cherry trees… They can be particular about the climate and soil they want, but the floral reward is worth the trouble. I’m especially fond of Autumn Higan Cherry which blooms “sporadically” from January through late spring. That means you’ll catch bits of flowers here and there over many months, instead of one massive show at once.


Winter Daphne, or Daphne odora

Winter Daphne should be planted in every front yard, right by the door to the house. You get a strong, sweet fragrance in January-February every time you come or go.


Hellebores, or botanical name Helleborus, also called Christmas Rose

Hellebores are one of my favorite perennial flowers. Often called the “Christmas Rose”, they bloom in the dead of winter with shades in burgundy, rose, white and chartreuse green. They are delicate and precious little winter gems.


Redtwig Dogwood, also called Osier Dogwood, or Cornus sericea

And finally, Redtwig Dogwood is a striking plant for winter interest with it’s blazing red stems.  I love it planted en masse, especially in front of dark evergreens where you can really see the contrast. It loves wet feet as well, making a good choice for rain gardens.

Oh, silent but lovely winter… There is magic happening outside if we close enough! What are some of your favorites at this time of year? Or are you too busy dreaming of spring or pouring over seed catalogs?

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Written by Renee Wilkinson