There is no excuse for a drab boring garden in the winter. Give your spirits a lift and treat yourself to some of these:
1. Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Pallida’ (witch hazel) – clusters of sweet scented sulphur yellow flowers on bare twigs from December to February. Plant in front of green leaf evergreens for a great contrast. Slow growing to a height and spread of 4 metres. For full sun or partial shade in fertile moist to well drained neutral to acid soil – do not allow it to dry out. Flowers also come in orange/red colours.
2. Sarcococca ruscifolia var chinensis – a small evergreen bushy green leafed shrub with highly scented cream flowers from late December to February. Height and spread 1 metre. Plant by a pathway in a semi-shaded position and enjoy.
3. Malus x robusta ‘Red Sentinel’ – pretty pink-tinged flowers in May, followed by round cherry red fruits which last through much of the winter with the added bonus of autumn leaf colour. Great tree for a small to medium sized garden. Height and spread 7 metres.
3. Daphne bholua – semi evergreen upright shrub with scented pink flowers in January and February followed by purple berries. Plant next to pathways – one of my favourite plants – see my March 2012 blog.
4. Cornus – the dogwood family of shrubs are grown for their bright coloured stems after the leaves fall and look brilliant planted in groups in a winter border or by water. The stems colours range from red to orange through yellow to purple.
For five more suggestions for your winter garden, watch out for February’s blog.