Once the stunning autumn colours have faded, it’s common to think a winter garden will be dull and uninteresting. However, with some careful planning, you can create a spectacular winter garden.
An essential part to this is using evergreen plants, which will provide focal points and structure around your garden. These will be more noticeable during the winter months, and you could consider including evergreen topiaries such as Taxus and Ligustrum. Alternatively consider an evergreen hedge, which could be planted either to define your boundaries or to create various areas of your garden. Suitable evergreen plants could include Photinia x fraseri ‘Red Robin’, Griselinia littoralis or even Fagus sylvatica – whilst this is not an evergreen, it does normally hold its coppery leaves, which can look stunning as a hedge in the winter sunshine.
Other points to consider for your winter garden:-
- Attractive winter flowers – varieties of Helleborus
- Striking stem colours – varieties of Cornus
- Appealing colours and textures of bark – Acer griseum and Prunus serrula
- Winter seed heads – attractive and a food source for birds
- Interesting skeletal formations
- Evergreen foliage
Winter flowering evergreen shrubs are often the most fragrant and good for encouraging wildlife into your winter garden. Evergreen shrubs to consider include:-
- Mahonia x media ‘Charity’
- Hellebours nigra
- Hamamelis x intermedia
- Skimmia rubella
- Viburnum bodnantense
- Nandina domestica
- Cornus ‘Flaviramea’
Deciduous trees should not be excluded from your winter garden. Whilst they will have lost their leaves, many trees have striking features during the winter months. These include orange-yellow berries on Malus ‘Evereste’, stunning white bark on Betula utilis var. jacquemontii, peeling bark on Acer griseum and the rich, shiny mahogany-red trunk of Prunus serrula. The silhouette of deciduous trees can also look stunning and you can appreciate the shape and structure of your trees far more during the winter months.
Another consideration for your winter garden would be to plant in containers. This way, when they are less interesting at other times of the year, the containers can be moved out of the way. If you choose highly scented plants in containers, consider positioning them near your house so that you can appreciate them fully during the winter months.
At Arundel Arboretum, we have a wide variety of evergreen and deciduous trees and shrubs to enhance any winter garden. Our friendly, knowledgeable, helpful staff is always ready to help you with any advice you may need to make the most of your winter garden.
We look forward to your visit.