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Thursday, 31 January 2019

A Winter Wander Around The Nurseries Looking At Winter Interest Plants

This is my winter wander around the nurseries with the dog


You can not beat a silver birch. Stunning winter interest and dazzlingly colour. The bark is stunning on a winter day. Under plant with snowdrops, white hellebores or a more shade tolerant shrub like Skimmia japonica and why not Kew Green with white berries rather than red to blend with the bark. In the summer the foliage is soft on the landscape its not a heavy green thug blocking out light more of a gentle foil. Again under plant with perhaps foxgloves for a natural wild feel in summer.


What can I say about hellebores that I haven't already said? These are our Frostkiss series here on the bed with Skimmia rubella. Frost kiss have some great deep colours ofter two tones with flowers standing proud and great often marbles evergreen foliage. Cassie likes them!



I think this Libertia glows in the winter light. It will need a well drained position. Its another New Zealand shrub a New Zealand iris and it's getting popular.  It has pretty white flowers late spring. It is not a grass despite looking like one it's a rhizomatous perennial .This variety is 'Taupo Sunset'. I think the bronze tinged effect is simply gorgeous. Before you ask is a 60cm height and spread.


I mentioned Skimmia Jennica. It is evergreen and it will grow in partial shade. The berries are so reliable.



The witch hazel (Hamamelis) is out in dazing acid yellow and rusty orange. This will not grow in the soils round here unless your making an ericaceous bed but it is completely hardy so in a pot it's fine. The stringy flower is amazing.


Hamamelis

 I was looking at all the different colours of cornus bark.

If you contrast these stems with foliage it can be amazing. You can also plant multiple stems together and it will make the hairs stand up on the back of your neck it's so gorgeous.

More on cornus planting combinations >> 

 

 Viburnum tinus is particularly unusual. Its generally considered a very pretty large 5-6ft winter flowering evergreen. We now have a few smaller varieties both Spirit and Gwen can be kept comfortable at about 60cm making them much more flexible. I have used them in containers for winter.

 Viburnum in a winter container

 

Osmanthus 

Here I have an Osmanthus with holly like evergreen foliage and mottleacid marbled or frosted tones. On a dull day when the light is gloomy this shrub is electric and I will see it all round the nurset above all else. A colouful garden is not all about flowers.

Osmanthus het. 'Goshiki'

How tall you grow this osmanthus is up to you keep it at 1m or let it grow much taller. It has lovely sweet scented jasmine like flowers in summer.

Cryptomeria jap.

We over look conifers in winter for the fabulous structure, texture and a lime slightly acid shade. It's lovely!

This ones great its suits me, it is characterful and strikes me as a bad hair do. Wait for it its is called Pinus mugo Mops. We do get large standards also and they are fantastic as architectural strictures in pots. I  or as a formal set of two standards making an entrance or steps. It's tactile you have to touch it.
Its a Swiss Mountain Pine and it looks a little like a bonsai.


Cloud pruned Ilex crenata

I think this is adorable. Look at the shape and the structure, remember you will see it what ever day of the year. This is a plant with character that will make a feature of where ever it is. You need height and you need shapes to bring a garden to life. Ilex crenate or Japanese holly is an evergreen that looks abit box like in its gran form but when you look at the leaf its far more tactile and interesting.

Ilex crenata


It also has more variegated yellow forms which are absolutely stand out in a croud stunning. Like box you can tame and prune them into small neat shapes.

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