As soon as Spring hits, gardeners are out with new bulbs, ready to set their gardens for a bright and colourful Summer. But gardening & beautiful flowers aren’t exclusively a warm-weather activity; many flowers thrive in cold weather – handy for the long dark summers in Ireland! Remember to plant flowers and shrubs before the ground freezes to give them the best chance of growing and surviving the cold weather. Here are some floral species that prefer winter over spring so your garden can look fresh and healthy all year round.
Pansies have heart-shaped petals and one of the widest ranges of bright, pretty colours and patterns of all garden flowers. They look great in containers and as borders for gardens giving a guaranteed pop of colour to any area of the house or garden. Pansies and violas bloom for most of the winter in mild climates like the changeable winter weather we get in Ireland. They’ll also rebound in spring giving you an almost all-year glow. They’re technically annuals, meaning they only bloom once, but many varieties drop seeds which will reflower the following spring.
Snowdrops, also called Galanthus, are hardy winter-flowering plants that are often noted as the first sign of spring. They must be planted in Autumn for an early spring bloom. These beautiful, droopy- headed flowers often start to bloom when snow is still on the ground, hence the name. They’re usually used as border flowers in a garden and require very little maintenance. They naturally multiply by 1-3 bulbs per year until the patch is overcrowded then they will slow down. Snowdrops make an excellent addition to a bouquet too - the warmth of interiors intensifies their honey-like fragrance
While they are not as colourful or floral as some other winter shrubs, Pussy Willow is a beautiful addition to any garden or flower arrangement. Fluffy catkins appear on the bare branches of the shrub in late winter and early spring, signalling that spring isn’t far behind. Pussy Willow is a small, deciduous tree, ideal for small gardens, and it grows in a drooping umbrella shape with many white bulbs dotted along its otherwise bare stems before the leaves open. The shrub prefers moist soil, which means minimal effort from gardeners with our damp Irish winters!
Another winter-loving bloom you’ll see in gardens and floral displays are the Crocus. They bloom bright and early bringing much-needed colour to gardens after a long winter. These beautiful and dainty purple flowers are small but mighty, heralding the start of Spring. Their sweet fragrance lures bees out of their hives to pollinate other local flora. They also multiply year after year, bringing more and more blooms each time they return. Like snowdrops, they make great cut flowers and often bloom while there is still snow on the ground.
If you’d like a bespoke bouquet created to your taste and budget, delivered nationwide by a local Dublin florist, look no further than Belles Fleurs. We create flower arrangements to suit all occasions and would be delighted to bring some colour to your home. Shop our arrangements on our online florist or pop into our flower shop in Blanchardstown.