top of page

In the Garden

By now the shops are full of decorations and our inboxes are full of emails reminding us about Christmas. However, there is no reason not to think about decorating the garden too, creating an inviting space to toast marshmallows around a fire pit with friends and family, or creating a view to soak up when looking out of the window on a cold grey day. There are plenty of amazing winter flowering plants that not only add colour but fill the air with scent at this time of year.

The aptly named Christmas box (Sarcococca confusa) is an evergreen shrub with small mid-green leaves that create the perfect backdrop to perennials during spring and summer. In winter they open their tiny white-scented flowers that will fill the air as you open the door on a crisp winter’s morning. Perhaps a purple stemmed variety, Sarcococca hookeriana ‘Winter Gem’, perfect for squeezing into a small space. Offset with a few deep purple varieties of hellebores, Helleborus orientalis ‘Blue Lady’ or Helleborus x hybridus ‘Harvington Dusky’.

Daphne is another species of winter flowering shrub with an amazing scent, Daphne bholua ‘Jacqueline Postill’ (grows up to four metres high) or in smaller spaces Daphne odora (grows up to 1.5 metres), both are strongly scented with delicate pale pink flowers, flowering from January to February and sometimes into March (although best grown in sheltered spots as they may need protection from frosts). Daphne odora works well planted in partially shaded areas, on the edge of a woodland or near overhanging trees. Daphne has plenty of space around their base, perfect for adding another layer of colour. Helleborus × hybridus 'Pretty Ellen Pink', - like someone has painted the petals with watercolours - to the pink of Helleborus × ericsmithii 'Pirouette'.

Many viburnums flower during the winter, Viburnum tinus has tiny pink flowers and makes a great backdrop with its deep green evergreen leaves to colourful perennials the rest of the year, ‘Lisarose’ has deep pink-red buds opening to pale pink or the pale pink of ‘Eve Price’. Or where you want the flowers to be the star attraction Viburnum x bodnantense ‘Dawn’ has highly scented deep pink fading to pale pink flowers on bare branches. This can be underplanted with the brighter white with pink freckles Helleborus × hybridus Harvington ‘Pink Speckled’, Helleborus orientalis.

Add a splash of colour to a pot by the door or to see out of a window, underplant the base of winter flowering or deciduous shrubs. Shrubs create the ideal space for plants to be dotted around beneath. Add the tiny jewel-like flowers of cyclamen, from the pale pink of Cyclamen hederifolium to the deeper pink of Cyclamen coum and your winter garden will be complete.

Have a question or would like further information on design, planting, problem areas or project monitoring services please get in touch - 01904 670330


bottom of page