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Violas and pansies are a riot of watercolour shades that glow through the greyest winters.

Does your garden look grey and unfriendly? The concrete winter skies might drive committed gardeners to abandon their borders and flee indoors, but with the right flowers your garden can be a bastion of summery delight, all year round. In fact, the delicate beauty of these tiny flowers bears comparison with even the most primped and preened geranium.

Whether you’ve a border or hanging basket to cover, the pastel colours you’ll see emerging as the winter goes on serve as a much-needed reminder that Spring isn’t far away.

Bellis flowers are a great way to introduce some truly summery colours into the dead of winter. The late-winter flowering species will become a blur of pink and white, as well showcasing a really stunning petal structure.

Helleborus Niger is also known as Christmas Rose, a clue to it’s beautiful late-Winter flowers. The small white blooms may be on the small side- a characteristic of winter flowers, but their crisp white will stand out even in the freshest snow.

Glaucous scorpion-vetch will inject some Mediterranean sun into your garden. Resistant to cool weather, unphased by shaded planting and lush heads of scented, golden flowers, this hardy plant is a favourite for difficult planting conditions.

If a dash of Summer-y yellow is what you’re after, Winter aconites provide a spark of lovely colour that far outweighs their diminutive stature. Benefiting from chalky soil and relatively hardy, they flower in early Spring and can be mixed with snowdrops-to which they’re closed related, for a blend of bright colours.

While you might dread the onset of winter, these winter flowers mean you don’t have to say goodbye to the sight of warm summer colours, even if everyone else is only planting Christmas trees.