It is surprising how much colour you can find in the garden during the winter months. If you want to create more interest in the winter, you may wish to consider some of the following:
Helleborus — a firm favourite that never fails to disappoint. There are many varieties, we particularly like; ‘niger’ (Christmas rose), and ‘x hy-bridus ‘
Ilex (Holly) — especially as standards, if you make sure that they are well-watered and fed over the spring & summer you will be rewarded with an abundance beautiful crimson berries over the holiday season.
Cornus (Dogwood) — There are many varieties, ‘winter-fire’,’alba’ ‘sibirica-baton rouge’ have dramatic red stems, or alternatively try Cornus sericea ‘Flaviramea’ for their olive-yellow stems.
Heuchera — Apart from the more familiar ‘palace purple’, you may consider the pinker & orange varieties of ‘creme brulee’ & ‘vienna’.
Hamamelis – (mollis) Produces extremely fragrant, yellow flowers, along bare branches. Needs well-drained acid soil, keep in a pot and feed regularly.
Euonymus fortunei ‘Emerald ‘n’ Gold’ — this shrub is lovely and bright during the dark winter months, it lifts a fence or a wall and is hardy.
Sarcococca — ‘hookeriana var. digyna’ The scent is stunning, although with small white flowers it is as if you have a floral display in front of you. Use for cut flowers to bring the gorgeous scent indoors.
Rubus — ‘thibetanus’, a deciduous arching shrub with striking white stems in winter.
Viburnum — ‘tinus’ with white blooms opening from pink buds.
For more ideas visit the Cambridge Botannic Gardens or Anglesey Abbey, they both have beautiful winter gardens.
Are you thinking about growing your own fruit and vegetables next year? Will Petty can advise how to transform your garden into a productive space without compromising on its layout and your enjoyment of outdoors.