Winter interest plants
Never think that a garden in winter must look dull! There are plenty of valuable plants that can cheer up the coldest time of the year with flowers and colourful berries that make your garden look vibrant and full of life, even in the depths of winter. Given the shorter daylight hours, plants that look best in winter are often shade tolerant and some are adaptable to life in containers, allowing them to be moved in and out of the limelight according to the season.
Interest in the winter may come from flowers, scent, berries, coloured stems or dramatic evergreen foliage. Viburnum Tinus and Viburnum Davidii produce sprays of white flowers against a backdrop of evergreen dark green foliage, whilst Pyracantha Orange Glow and Pyracantha Red Column produce an abundance of orange and red berries which last long into the winter. Use the black winter fruits of Mahonia Apollo or Mahonia Charity to provide food for and attract much loved birds to the garden over the cold period or, alternatively, choose the excellent new variety of dogwood Cornus Midwinter Fire for orange-yellow autumnal foliage that falls to reveal beautiful, red-tipped, orange-yellow winter stems.
The twisted stems and yellow catkins of Corkskrew Hazel (Corylus Contorta) look fabulous in snow or icy conditions and are a great way to add shape, structure and contrast to flower arrangements. Cordyline Torbay Dazzler is a striking variegated cordyline with long emerald green evergreen leaves edged in silvery gold with subtle reddy-pink veining and Chamaecyparis Boulevard is a semi-dwarf pyramidal conifer with compact soft, silvery blue-green leaves which take on spectacular shades of bronze in the winter if left exposed to strong winds.