GET CREATIVE: A vase of leaves I collected from my garden.
GET CREATIVE: A vase of leaves I collected from my garden. Donna Gibbs

Easy ways to create a cheerful garden this winter

WE PLANT flowers because they're pretty and colourful.

If you like, you can have flowers all year round.

Just because it's the middle of winter, it doesn't mean you have to have a boring garden.

There are many types of flowers that bloom almost all year.

The most popular of these is the geranium, which has a large range of colours and is easily grown from cuttings.


Another favourite are the busy lizzies/impatiens.

These are so hardy they'll grow between the bricks if you don't control them.

They also come in lots of colours from white through to deep mauve.

I use these myself to keep the front garden cheerful.

Hibiscus also flower often and there are some very hardy red species around the Bay I've seen growing in carparks and as hedges.

If you see a hibiscus you like, ask for a cutting. Most people will oblige.

Bogonvillea, tibouchina, blue eye and ixora also flower for long periods.

There are plants that grow well here, with colourful and variegated leaves.

Coleus, caladiums, cordylines, crotons and bromiliades all have striped and variegated leaves green through to red, yellow and purple.

Acuba japonicus has dramatic stripes or spots of bright yellow on the leaves.

They look great in the garden and provide colour all year.

Branches can be cut off and displayed in a vase.

You'll need some pots ready as they'll all have roots within the week. Yahoo! More free plants.