White plants to brighten up your garden in winter

White plants that accelerate hardening (Alamy/PA)

If your garden seems desolate with constant rain and short days, white plants can do a lot to cheer it up.

From easily naturalized, pint-sized snowdrops, to pot-perfect winter-blooming heathers and cyclamen, to white hellebore niger and the glorious bark of birch, there are numerous options for lighting up your outdoor space.

Here are five of the best white plants…

1. Snowdrop

Snowdrops are one of the first bulbs to appear in late winter and early spring, as their nodding white heads emerge despite the harshest weather.

How to grow: Plant the bulbs 6-7 cm deep in early autumn. If you want to naturalize them, they should be planted in groups of 10 or more, 4 cm apart, to allow enough room for them to spread the following season. This allows you to group clumps that should soon become natural as lifted clumps of blooming flowers with faded leaves.

2. Sweetbox (Sarcococca confusa)

If you want an evergreen shrub, bloom each winter with subtle white, richly scented flowers against a backdrop of rich, glossy green foliage. This might be the one for you. It grows to 2m, brightens shaded borders and woodlands, and works well in urban gardens. When flowering, it also yields glossy black berries. As it should be, the interest will continue throughout the season.

How to grow: Sweetboxes prefer partial to deep shade and thrive in well-drained, humus-rich soil.

3. Birch

If you want your tree to brighten up the scene, check out the common birch (Betula pendula), which has pure white bark that looks stunning against the grays of winter. Alternatively, grow birch (Betula papyrifera). This is a fairly vigorous specimen, beautiful with its white bark that sheds in winter without leaves.

How to grow: It’s easy, not fussy about soil, thrives in sun or light shade, and is wind tolerant.

4. Cyclamen ‘White’

These pretty little cyclamen with frosty leaves produce white flowers with deep purple markings at the base of each petal and look stunning in quiet dark corners. It thrives under trees and in alpine beds and rock gardens, emerging fresh green foliage around the same time in winter and early spring.

How to grow: Plant to a depth of 5 cm in moderately fertile, humus-rich, well-drained soil. Do not overfeed. Mulch if foliage dies, preferably in partial shade. They can do well in urban gardens and patio containers, but make sure they are kept moist even when dormant. should come.

5. Erica Carnea “Alba”

The white winter flower heather is always popular in containers. If you want white flourishes, you can pair it with white violas and pansies and silver leaf senecios. Place the pot in a protected position for best results. It also looks great in rocky and coastal gardens, banks and slopes, and as a garden border. Not only is it beautiful to look at, but it is also a magnet for bees.

How to grow: Unlike some heathers, this one can tolerate lime, so it grows well in virtually any soil. For best results, place it in full sun in well-drained soil. Or place in soil-based compost if growing in pots. After heather blooms, trim with scissors, cutting just below the faded flowers to encourage new growth. Do not cut old wood please Otherwise, the plants are less likely to recover.

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