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.
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.
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.