Winter is a time when we sometimes think of the garden being a time of no color or scent. When trees have lost their leaves and plant are dormant.

Well have I got news for you. I have listed below just a few of my favorite winter plants and mind you this is just tip of the top of the iceberg of what is available.

You can fill vases in winter with fresh flowers from a scent filled garden and I have not even included the, the camellias, and the lilies. Oh the list could go on and on

There are the third largest group of Australian native plants, with somewhere between 350 and 500 species in the genus. They are fabulous plants that have become increasingly popular in gardens, thanks to the enormous range of hybrids and cultivars available.

They come from ground covers to mighty trees. They flower in white through to the most vibrant of colours. 
They vary from specie to specie with many new cultivars coming onto the market all the time. Many flower in winter and provide a feast of nectar for birds when other native plants are not so generous. And they are of course tough

In the right position, protected moist and well drained position that is preferably semi shaded, these plants will thrive.

Rhodendrons are a fabulous flowering plant in a multitude of colours. They range in size from dwarf pants right up to 5 meter tall shrubs. As long as they are in a
Wintersweet – ‘Chimonanthus praecox’.

This plant looks like….. Well let’s say very unattractive in winter. But, toward the end of winter there arrives on the bare branches, small, incredibly sweetly scented, yellow flowers, stained purple inside.

It is a quite a vigorous shrub and makes a lovely specimen plant for a sunny, well-drained position. Even somewhere a bit enclosed where it’s scent can be appreciated.

It can be a cut flower to bring the scent of incense into the house

Daphne – ‘Daphne odora Aureomarginata’
Daphne can be a somewhat fickle plant but with it’s clusters of small, sweetly scented, pale pink flowers that open from purple-pink it is a winner in a well drained semi sunny, sheltered position where its handsome, will brighten the winter garden.

Witch Hazel – ‘Hamamelis mollis’
This plant is like the winter sweet, with it’s upright, deciduous form that has clusters of sweetly scented, bright yellow, spidery flowers clinging to bare twigs. In autumn, the bright green leaves turn soft yellow

Winter Honeysuckle – ‘Lonicera
This plant has leaves that are a bit poisonous but as long as you do not make a soup of the leaves it will be fine. This plant is a bit of a climber with clusters of pale yellow, tubular flowers will fill the air and as a cut flower your house with a strong scent

Mahonia – ‘Mahonia japonica’
The lovely evergreen plant with its long branches that are lined with slender spikes of pale yellow flowers has a fragrance reminiscent of lily-of-the-valley.

Viburnum –
Ah you have to love the viburnum. Wether it be starting with the deciduous opulus, the snow ball tree to the rugged evergreen Burkwoodii all are so generous with their flowers.

luculia winter flowering


Sweet Luculia is its name and sweet by nature. The plant has not only beautifully scented white pink flowers. but also the most wonderful foliage . It’s tall canes to 4 metres are ideal for against a protected semi shaded wall with moist well drained soil.

It has been climed by some that the strong scent of this wonderful winter flowing bush can trigger headaches, asthma, or other reactions in sensitive individuals I have not found this, perhaps not being the sensitive kind. It also has a reputation for being difficult to grow. But don’t believe it as with slightly acidic soils and good drainage they will thrive

Angels trumpet – Brugmansia
This beautiful plant had its reputation ruined by the likes of Carlos Casdinada who ate the leaves and went to exotic and frightening places in their arm chairs

They are easily grown in a moist, fertile, well-drained soil, in full sun to part shade, in frost-free climates.. Most may be propagated easily from cuttings. The name Angel’s Trumpet refers to the large, very dramatic, pendulous trumpet- flowers with a scent most noticeable in early evening.

Winter Flowering Heathers – ‘Erica’
Winter heathers with their masses of pink and white flowers are an upright and compact plant making it ideal for along borders if kept pruned after flowering and are even suitable for container planting.

Silk-tassel Bush – ‘Garrya elliptica’
I have mixed feelings about this plant. If not cared for and given a good position it can look very ordinary Long, silvery catkins up to 20cm long, shine out among glossy, wavy-edged, dark green leaves throughout winter. The silken tassels of his upright, evergreen shrub can however make a stunning feature in the winter garden

Lentern rose- Hellebores
This cute little plant plants produces large saucer-shaped flowers and are ideal for the front of an early spring or winter border. Most hellebores will only grow in shade and prefer a rich loamy soil. But be cautious to use gloves when handling them as the sap in an open wound can cause the wound to not heal.

Treasure flower- Gazania
I love this tough little plant they are a low-growing perennial herb with lance-shaped leaves and brightly coloured daisy-like flowers in bronze, yellow and orange tones. It can produce wind-blown seeds and spreads rapidly by layering very well. It withstands salt-laden winds and grows well in sandy soils.

Chefs cap or white Correa- Correa
Flowering time for this little beauty is between May and November, as well as intermittently throughout the year. It is tough and will grow in practically any soil, in shade or full sun. To grow it at its best, a light sandy soil with good drainage and a position protected from wind, with semi shade or dappled light

Proteas offer brilliant colour and beautiful foliage tips. They have a huge variety of , beautiful flowers and can create a spectacular presence in your garden.
Like a lot of plants from South Africa they are tough, they flower most of the year and survive with minimal care but do like a well drained position

Acacia – Wattle
The great floral emblem. Cascades of yellow adorn our suburbs and the bush. Wattles are a hugely diverse genus of about 160 species of trees and shrubs from ground covers to the large Cootamundra. Like the Protea they are hardy and need well drained soil but once established are very hardy. They respond well to a tip prune after flowering

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