What to Plant for a Colourful Garden in Autumn and Winter

Autumn doesn’t have to signal the end of colour in your garden or on your balcony: far from it. Choose the right plants for your borders or planters and you can enjoy vibrant flowers and foliage on even the darkest of winter days.  Here’s our pick of what to plant now to keep your garden glowing through the gloom.


With their marbled, heart-shaped leaves, twisty stems and vibrant flowers in shades of pink, red and white, cyclamen add an instant pop of summery colour to any outdoor space. Not only that, but they thrive as houseplants, so you can bring the brightness inside. The leaves on these look great in galvanised steel planters.

Mini Conifers

Create a miniature winter forest with a cluster of tiny conifers and other evergreen trees. Not only will they keep your garden green throughout the darker months, they’ve got a distinctly Christmassy feel. Add strings of twinkling fairy lights in the festive season.

Winter-Flowering Pansies

You might associate these cheerful bedding plants with spring and summer, but special winter cultivars have been designed to flower from November through to March. When daylight’s in short supply, these vivid flowers will bring some real bright to your yard or terrace.


Also known as coral bells, these versatile evergreen plants will adorn your garden with colour all year round. A huge number of variants boast colourful foliage ranging from peach to lime green, deep maroon to almost black. The orange shades look especially good in borders with rust-coloured Corten steel edging, or in Corten steel planters.


Everyone knows that succulents in metal planters are a huge trend inside the home, but did you know you can grow succulents outside, even in the British climate? Sempervivums, also known as house leeks or hens and chicks, are hardy succulents that thrive outdoors (or in!) in the UK. With their other-worldly shape and varying shades of green and pink, they add shape and colour to pots and beds.


Choose the right variety of heather and you’ll enjoy a carpet of colour in your garden throughout the most miserable months. Look for winter-flowering varieties; they’re incredibly hardy because they grow at high altitude in the wild. The purple hues of heather pair especially well with the mottled grey of galvanised steel edging or planters.

Winter Clematis

Not many people know about the winter-flowering clematis, and those who don’t are missing out on a real treat. This clever climber will wind its way up a wall or trellis and produce beautiful white blooms throughout the harshest of winters. Not only do the flowers look good, but they smell divine, too, making this a great choice to plant by your front door to great visitors.


Neither hellish or boring, these gorgeous flowers add texture and colour. Misleadingly, they’re often known as Christmas roses, but they’re more likely to bloom from February onwards than in December. Nor are they roses; hellebores are from the same family as buttercups! Still, the blooms are beautiful and crop up long before spring.

Silver Bush

An incredible evergreen, the silver bush brings unique colour to your garden. The intricate, silver foliage perfectly suits winter and looks stunning in metal planters or galvanised steel buckets. And as a bonus, when summer comes around, this bush bears pretty white flowers.

Ornamental Cabbages

Cabbage might not make for the most interesting of meals, but these cabbages definitely make for interesting borders. Ornamental cabbages, in shades of green and magenta, keep beds and planters bright throughout the dingier months. They work brilliantly with cyclamen, too, as this arrangement, in an aged copper tub, proves.