Crocus tommasinianus is one of the first crocuses that bloom from mid to late winter, covering with their lilac or rich purple flowers the whole space where they are planted. They are hardy plants and naturalize well, spreading themselves liberally through beds and lawn, multiplying freely by seeds and offsets. Plant the corms 8-10 cm deep in well-drained soil during autumn, in a place with full sun, and in the next spring you will have a beautiful carpet of early flowering crocuses.
Winter aconite (Eranthis hyemalis) start to show their bright green collars of leaves followed by pretty, yellow, buttercup-like flowers form mid to late winter. They can be used in borders or naturalized in grass, in a rock garden, woodland gardens or under deciduous trees, in any place with sun or partial shade. Plant tubers 5 cm deep in autumn or when in growth, in good soil enriched with organic matter.
Christmas rose (Helleborus niger Potter’s Wheel) is the most popular hellebore, that produce large, long-lasting, saucer-shaped flowers starting from mid to late winter. They are the ideal choice for brightening the front of an early spring border. Plant them in good soil enriched with organic matter. Divide large clumps after flowering.
Winter flowering pansy (Viola x wittrockiana) are the most colorful winter flowering plants that open their flowers starting form mid winter and last until spring. Use them in borders, as bedding displays and also for containers. Raise them from seeds sown in late spring or early summer and plant them out in autumn for having them in bloom in the winter.
Winter iris (Iris unguicularis) shows its pale lavender-blue flowers throughout winter and early spring. Plant them in poor, well-drained, neutral to alkaline soil, in a place in full sun. Plants are hardy but flowers may suffer in heavy frost so a protection from a south-facing wall is more than welcome. Divide rhizomatous clumps after flowering or in autumn.
Corsican hellebore (Helleborus argutifolius) is a good plant for problems areas because it is capable of surviving in poor, dry soils. It will prefer a moist, humus-rich soil and a place with light shade. Their pendent, green flowers open in late winter, but if you remove them you can benefit of a second bloom in late spring. The seeds will germinate easily when ripen.
Iris reticulata is a late winter flowering bulbous plant, with flagrant, jewel-like flowers. The flowers vary in color from pale to deep purple or blue with bright yellow markings on each outward petal. Plant in groups for maximum effect. Plant the bulbs 8-10 cm deep in well-drained soil, in a place with sun or partial shade, in autumn and apply a high-potash liquid fertilizer every 2 weeks while they are in growth. Propagate them by dividing bulbs from mid summer to early autumn.
Scilla mischtschenkoana is one of the earliest bulbs to flower starting from late winter. It has a raceme of small, ice-blue, starry flowers and needs to be planted in groups to make an impact. Plant the small bulbs 8-10 cm deep during early autumn, in a place with soil that maintain its moisture over their growing season but dries out in summer.
Cyclamen coum will offer you delicate buds that open to fresh white, pink or red flowers from late winter to early spring. Their rounded leaves vary in color from plain deep green to silvery patterning or almost entirely silver. Plant the tubers 3-5cm deep, making sure they sit just below the surface, in rich, well-drained soil. They like a place in partial of full shade so it is best to plant them under the shade of trees. Mulch them annually with leaf mould to prevent the tubers from drying out over the summer and to protect them from winter cold. Left them undisturbed as they usually self-seed.