No colour in your garden in winter – think again
You can still have colour and flowers throughout the winter period. Winter flowering shrubs give you splashes of colour. Yellow flowering Mahonias have showy flower heads from December to March. Their prickly leaves are not friendly but a new variety called Mahonia ‘Soft Caress’ has feathery leaves, yellow flowers and is more suitable in a smaller garden.
Viburnums provide plenty of value for your money in winter. Viburnum bodnantense ‘Dawn’ has pretty pink flowers from autumn to Spring. Plant at the back of a border and you’ll get colour when nothing else is flowering. Similarly, the evergreen Viburnum tinus Eve Price carries small white clusters of flowers throughout the winter and a smaller viburnum that is great value with white flowers and black seed heads is Viburnum davidii.
Shrubs such as Cornus and Rubus are grown for their coloured stems rather than their summer leaf colour.
Evergreen perennials such as Bergenias, heucheras and hellebores all add colour to a border.
There are one or two trees which will give winter colour. Witch hazel hamamelis mollis has bright, scented spidery flowers from Dec to Feb and a couple of cherry trees -Prunus mume Beni-chidori and Prunus x subhirtella ‘Autumnalis” give blossom throughout the winter period
When you next go to buy something for your garden think about a tree, shrub or perennial that is going to extend the seasons and give you something to look at in the winter months.
Things to do in the garden in November
- Continue to cut back perennials that have finished flowering and clear borders.
- Make new plants out of existing perennials by lifting clumps, dividing up the clump and planting the new clumps wherever you want them. Take the new clumps from the outer area of the existing plant as these are the newer part of the plant.
- Replace summer bedding with winter colour. Combine small Cornus shrubs with heucheras, ivy and heathers for a splash of colour. Pop a few tulips and miniature daffodils underneath the plants for extra spring colour.
- Bring in tender plants into a conservatory or greenhouse, if not already done so.
- Lift dahlia, cannas and begonias tubers as they will have been caught by early frosts. Store in a wooden box filled with dry sand in a shed.
- Continue to mow lawns.
- Still time to plant tulips.
- Plant bare-rooted roses.
- Digging borders will expose pest larvae to birds. Add manure or compost to the borders so that worms can break this down in the soil over winter.
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Gardens Designed by RHS Gold Medal and Best in Category winner, RHS Tatton Park show July 2016
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