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10 Perennials For Autumn And Winter Interest

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Add some interest at what can be a quiet time of year with this fine selection of autumn and winter-interest perennials. Their understated beauty is sure to win you over

Helleborus Niger

Suitable for shady spots, the Christmas rose as it’s commonly known can flower from Christmas, though usually waits until later in winter. Its leathery leaves and virgin-white blooms are a delight. Height: 30cm.

Pic Credit to Drew Avery

Miscanthus sinensis ‘Zebrinus’

Commonly known as the zebra grass due to its creamy horizontal bands. The drought-tolerant grass turns russet in autumn with sprays of maroon flowers. Leave it to stand over winter. Height: 1.2m.
Pic Credit to asmic

Physalis Alkekengi

The tiny white flowers aren’t much but the papery lantern-like seed casings that follow in autumn certainly are! Left on the plant, these will skeletonise – a beautiful testament to the passing seasons. Height: 70cm.

Phlomis Russeliana

This perennial prefers a well-drained, almost dry soil. It works hard for its spot, flowering on and off from spring right up to autumn. Try pairing it with an ornamental grass for a prairie look.

Height: 90cm.
Pic Credit Drew Avery

Arum Italicum

Its arrow-shaped, glossy leaves stand right through winter. In autumn orange-red berries follow on from its summer flowers. Look out also

for the marbled variety ‘Marmoratum’. Height: 30cm.
Pic Credit peganum

Aster Amellus

These Michaelmas daisies put on a show from August to October with their purple, starry blooms. A great choice for attracting beneficial insects, including end-of-season butterflies and bees.

Height: 45-60cm.
Pic Credit D H Wright

Echinops Ritro

The globe thistle has spiky leaves and metallic- coloured, globe-shaped flowers. Look out also for sea holly (Eryngium giganteum), which offers a similar effect. Both can be left standing over winter. Height: 1.2m.

Pic Credit Carl E Lewis

Echinacea Purpurea

While the purple coneflower produces its flowers in late summer, it can be left standing during the colder months to give a prairie-like effect. Rudbeckias are a sound alternative. Plant both en masse.

Height: 1.2m.
Pic Credit BarefootGardener

Pachysandra Terminalis

An evergreen groundcover plant that will happily spread beneath taller shrubs. It copes with dry shade but does require an acidic soil. There is a variegated form available. Height: 25cm.
Pic Credit to Carl E Lewis

Stachys byzantina ‘Silver Carpet’

Try to not stroke the soft, wool-like leaves of this beauty, also known as lamb’s ears! The evergreen mat-former is ideal for the front of the border where it will cope with dry soil. Height: 15cm.

Pic Credit to Carl E Lewis

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