Fall is a wonderful time to add to your garden and prepare it for winter. Plants are less likely to get transplant shock than when planted in the warmer months, and there is no lack of rain to help establish good, strong root systems.

As we head towards winter and the leaves are falling, you may be noticing that your garden doesn’t have many flowers left. Perennials have finished blooming and are dying back. Most shrubs are also coming to the end of their flowering season. But a winter garden can also be filled with blooms. Careful selection of the right plants can ensure you a beautiful landscape all the way through the season.

Here are some plant selections that will thrive in the Pacific Northwest and bring beauty to your winter garden.

Image of several Daphne flowers amidst pretty yellow-green foliage, great options for a winter garden.

Daphne odora ‘Maejima’

Daphne odora ‘Aureo-marginata’

Variegated winter Daphne is a wonderful winter garden choice for our climate. There are many beautiful cultivars available for this plant. This evergreen shrub offers pretty, variegated foliage throughout the winter and will bloom in February and March and sometimes later. The flowers are highly fragrant and emerge in clusters of pink buds, opening to pale pink or white star shaped flowers.

Be sure to plant this shrub where it will get some afternoon shade and where drainage is good – in a raised bed or on a slight berm. Daphne enjoys rich, moist soil and infrequent watering throughout the summer months, once it is established. It is slow growing, so planting a bigger specimen is advised. It will grow to a height of 3-4 feet and a width of 2-4 feet.

Close up image of the bright yellow spider-like blooms of Witch Hazel, a great option for an addition to a winter garden.

Hamamelis x intermedia

Witch Hazels are a must for any winter garden. They start to bloom around January or February, depending on the species. There are many beautiful cultivars that will light up your winter garden, even when there is snow on the ground. Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Diane’ has deep orange and red flowers, and Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Arnold Promise’ has bright yellow spider-like blooms. Plant in full sun to part shade. These shrubs like moist, well-drained, acidic soil. Avoid letting the soil dry out. Witch Hazels also provide beautiful fall foliage colors for the landscape.

These luminous, deciduous shrubs come in various sizes but tend to reach around 12-15 feet tall and wide. Their flower color ranges from bright yellow to burnt orange or deep red. Hamamelis x intermedia varieties tend to have a longer bloom time with showier flowers than other species.

Close up image of a vibrant red Yuletide Camellia bloom with a bright yellow center, a great choice for your winter garden.

Camellia sasanqua ‘Yuletide’

The Yuletide Camellia is a great addition to bring color to a winter garden. It provides festive, bright red flowers, contrasting with deep green foliage during the holiday season and beyond. In fact, Camellia species in general are a great choice for winter gardens, providing attractive, glossy evergreen foliage and bright blooms of all colors. Sasanquas are particularly pretty, with their large, elegant blooms. 

Camellia sasanqua ‘Yuletide’ should be planted in partial shade or filtered sun and in rich, acidic and well-drained soils. It is a moderate growing shrub, reaching around 5-8 feet tall and wide. It likes moderate and regular watering.

For more help selecting, planning and planting a winter garden, contact Frontier Landscaping.