It’s hard to say exactly when autumn becomes winter. Is there a moment, when the crisp cool of autumn takes on the deeper chill of winter? Or is there a gradual slide, somewhere in the heart of a November evening, where we slip softly across the boundary into winter, without even realising it until much later, when we suddenly realise we’ve been crunching frost beneath our shoes for days?
But whenever it happens, when winter does get here, there’s one thing you’re certain to notice: winter is no time for flowers.
Most of the tender blooms that you’re used to seeing through spring, summer and autumn will have faded away long before winter takes hold. But a few flower shine on, and bring the soft glow of their petals to even a wintery morning. Here are a few that we love.
1 – The Snowdrop
The obvious choice? Yes. But it’s the obvious choice for a reason. These perennial flowering plants can appear as early as January. While the sight of other early flowers may be a sign that spring is on its way, the pure white snowdrop should inspire no such optimism! This plant can sprout even in frozen soil, adding some beauty to midwinter meadows.
2 – Winter Aconite
Buttercups may mean the haze and heat of a summer afternoon, but they have a wintery equivalent too. The bright yellow, gently curved petals of winter aconite bring a welcome splash of colour to winter days.
3 – Witch Hazel
Its witchy name might seem better suited to Hallowe’en, but the witch hazel keeps flowering long after October 31st. The flowers on the branches of these pretty shrubs grow so late in the year that in America, they have another name: winterbloom.