Posted on 27 December, 2017Comments (0)

Garden Notes

Garden Notes

You must have some plants to cheer you up in winter and viburnum tinus is one of them, evergreen with white flowers for months. The variety Eve Price is more compact than the type and has pink buds opening white. This is a useful shrub that will flower in some shade if needed and can be treated like a hedge and cut back in spring after flowering. The other taller shrub I have is another viburnum, viburnum x bodnantense ‘Dawn’, not evergreen but with pink scented flowers whenever the weather is kind. Shorter than these is the winter flowering honeysuckle. lonicera x purpusii. This is a bush not a climber and has very scented flowers. They are not showy, but brought into the house to put with other flowers they are lovely. It is semi evergreen but I pick the leaves off to enjoy it. You can hack this back after flowering if you need to.

Smaller shrubs include the winter flowering sarcococcas that actually prefer some shade and will give you heavily scented flowers in January and February. Again preferring to be out of the hot sun are the skimmias. These like a slightly acid soil like our Bentworth clay. You often see skimmia rubella with maroon flowers for sale as a small plant for winter tubs at a very reasonable price. I love the green flowered ones. Check out the Crocus site and you will see that you could have berries to follow if you buy both male and female plants. The nandinas will give you brightly coloured winter foliage and now come in a huge variety. For the front of the border pick the winter flowering heather erica carnea with white, pink or dark red flowers. This will put up with a limey soil, while other heather varieties will not.

Keep warm and dream of summer.

Stella Strachan

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