The evergreen shrub above should be a must-have for gardeners suffering from winter blues. Daphne (D. odora aureomarginata) is full of buds right now. It will start blooming the last of January and continue right through February. The best thing about the flowers, since they are small, is that they smell wonderful, a lemony sweet fragrance. Float a few of the flower clusters in a small bowl to bring the rich scent into the home.
The flowers below belong to my Japanese Flowering Apricot tree, Prunus mume. It is a lovely small tree, not grown for its fruit, but for the early flowers. It is completely budded now. The buds are still tight, but they will open around the first part of February. Branches may forced in the house for even earlier blooms.
Hellebores, in the third photo, are sometimes called Lenten Roses. They begin to bloom in February also, and come in several colors: white, white with speckles, pink, dark rose and a deep maroon that is almost black. Their evergreen leaves are palmate and the nodding flowers show up well in the foliage.
These plants keep winter from being too dreary. Include some in your garden for year-round flowers.