There’s nothing dull about the winter garden

SPOT ON: Aucuba, the ever-reliable spotted laurel.

SPOT ON: Aucuba, the ever-reliable spotted laurel.

0
Have your say

Winter can have just as much beauty and interest as the awakening spring, and colour to rival that of the summer border. You just have to look a little harder.

Evergreens are always there, but that’s no reason to treat them with contempt. Used thoughtfully, they can provide the skeleton to a late autumn or winter bed or border. The dark-leaved can be used as a backcloth to highlight the light and variegated, or they can act as a windbreak.

And as for colour... the vivid yellow of winter jasmine, Jasminum nudiflorum, whose yellow blooms appear long before the plant’s leaves. Mahonia ‘Charity’ can be used to form a low holly-like hedge, but its greatest claim appears in late autumn – yellow, scented flowers arch outwards, paving the way for the equally scented Daphne mezereum, whose sweet, fragrant flowers seem to thrive in February’s frosts.

And then there’s Ilex × altaclerensis ‘Golden King’, a holly with dark green foliage edged with cream. Or Sarcococca confus , whose scented cream-white flowers perfume the winter air. .

Aucuba, the ever-reliable spotted laurel, pictured, will grow just about anywhere. The leaves are dotted with yellow and red fruits appear later. Don’t be fooled, the garden never really sleeps.

Back to the top of the page