Cold snowy winters make flower gardening nearly impossible in the open air. Yet protected corners sheltered from cold winds which catch the odd sunny break will flower winter shrubs like Chimonanthus (Winter Sweet), Hamamelis (Witch Hazel), Lonicera fragrantissima (Bush Honeysuckle), and possibly Daphne and trailing Jasmine mesnyi (Primrose or Yellow Jasmine).
Use these to shelter hardy flowers like Winter Aconite, Crocus, Snow Drop (Galanthus), Pansy, Violet and Winter Rose (Helleborus) Combined with bright berries, decorative bark, dried grasses and evergreen foliage even the coldest places can have some winter colour. The secret to successful winter gardening is to capture as much radiant heat as possible keeping soil and surroundings warm. Black plastic or a sheet of black weed mat laid over the bed will absorb heat raising the soil temperature. A layer of bark, gravel or stones over this will retain more heat.
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