The winter garden is not all about blooms, although you will be surprised by how many plants, shrubs, trees and wall climbers produce flower during these months, it’s more about the importance of texture, shape and colour of leaf or stem.
Not only can we create seasonal interest in the garden at this time of year but you can provide your home with your very own floristry supply. With berry, leaf and stem you can make some wonderful arrangements for around the house and with Christmas on its way, creating garlands and swags is easy with the right ingredients.
Look for Viburnum tinus, Hellebores, Mahonia x media ‘Winter Sun’, Sarcococca hookeriana, Skimmia x confusa, Skimmia Rubella, winter pansies, winter flowering heathers, Hamamelis x intermedia mollis, Viburnum x bodnantense ‘Dawn’ or Daphne bholua.
Wall shrubs and climbers: Jasminum nudiflorum (winter jasmine), Clematis urophylla ‘Winter Beauty’, Clematis cirrhosa, Lonicera x purpusii ‘Winter Beauty’, Chaenomeles superba or speciosa.
FOR BERRY INTEREST
Shrubs: Gaultheria procumbens, Pyracantha, Cotoneaster wardii and hybridus pendulus as well as hollies. Nandina domestica. Callicarpa bodinieri or Viburnum opulus ‘Xanthocarpum’ Ilex (hollies) x altaclerensis ‘Golden King’ (female) or ‘Silver Queen’ (male). Holly is dioecious – literally meaning two houses. The plant bears either male or female flowers, but not both. Berries are produced by the female plant in the presence of a male plant. In rural areas, local wild holly may provide cross-pollination.
Trees : Sorbus aucuparia, vilmorinii or cashmiriana, Euonymus europaeus ‘Red Cascade’, Crataegus persimilis ‘Prunifolia’, Crataegus monogyna
Leucothoe fontanesiana ‘Rainbow’ or Leucothoe scarletta and axillaris, Ilex aquifolium, Euphorbia amygdaloides Rubra, Photinia x fraseri ‘Red Robin’, Eucalyptus and Garrya elliptica, dripping wth catkins. The swords of Phormium ‘Yellow Wave’ or ‘Pink Panther’ Heuchera, grasses such as Imperata Cylindrica, Stipa or Molinia, evergreen ferns such as Polystichum or Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Nigrescens’ (black grass), Euonymus fortunei, Fatsia japonica, Pieris and Camelia x williamsii.
Cornus (dogwoods), bamboos, Leycesteria formosa, Corylus contorta, willows such as Salix alba vitellina Britzensis or Salix gracilistyla ‘Melanostachys’ which has black catkins.
And that’s before you get to the bulbs! Nerine lilies, cyclamen, aconites…