Winter Plant Ideas– by Karen Mariconda
I often advise my customers that one of the very best times of year to choose and plant trees and shrubs is during the winter months. The reason being that if the plants look good and are resilient in the very worst that our UK winter has to offer then they are brilliant contenders for any garden.
We specialise in low maintenance architectural and structural plants like Ilex Crenata Cloud Trees which are spectacular at any time of year. I find that Japanese Cloud Trees have particular interest in the winter when covered with snow or frost (or even freezing fog).
There are lots of evergreen shrubs which actually flower in the winter (some of which are also fragrant) such as Mahonia Media Charity, Camellia Sasanqua, Skimmia Kew Green, Sarcococca Ruscifolia and Viburnum Tinus.
Camellia Sasanqua (the Christmas Camellia) is a particularly good flowering winter shrub. It has fabulous glossy dark evergreen foliage and good sized showy flowers. In Japan it is pruned to shapes and can be cut to produce an attractive evergreen flowering hedge.
In the very coldest time of the year deciduous plants will have lost their foliage but will still provide a structure in the garden. Acer Sango Kaku with its red stems is a stunner to view on cold frosty mornings. The foliage of evergreen plants can of course provide interest with shape and colour texture – shrubs like Choisya Sundance, Pittosporum Tom Thumb, Euonymus Japonica Bravo and Euonymus Japonica Aureas.
The winter months are a time to test out the most resilient of plants so do not dismiss winter as a month to avoid the garden – use it as an opportunity to plant some incredible specimen plants that will look spectacular and warm the heart on even the coldest of winter days.
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