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Tag Archives: Pittosporum

  • Plants for winter interest

    Winter gardens don't have to be dreary! Some trees and shrubs provide colourful stems and bark, fragrant flowers and foliage colour.

    Evergreen trees and shrubs can add form and structure to a garden in winter and of course provide screening too. Both conifer and non-conifer foliage can be used to create a colour pallette all year round. Gold foliage particularly stands out on dull winter days - Cupressus Gold Rider is a great variety for strong colour.

    Cupressus Gold Rider

    Evergreen shrubs that have variegated foliage, such as Pittosporum, can be used to great effect in mixed borders. Spotted laurel is one of the few variegated plants that thrives in shade so can be used to brighten up a dark corner. Similarly variegated holly when lit by house lights can be cheerful in the darkest months.

    Pittosporum varieties

    Holly - Ilex argentea marginata

    Spotted laurel - Aucuba japonica

    Colourful stems are found on many Cornus and Salix (dogwoods and willow). Shrubs such as Cornus alba sibirica, C. Midwinter Fire and C. Magic Flame look great planted in drifts of red, yellow and orange. They can be trimmed in spring to encourage new growth and they tolerate heavy even wet soils well. Willow can be used in the same environment, Salix alba britzensis the Scarlet willow can be left to grow into a large tree where the top colourful growth catches low winter sun or pruned hard to create new growth at lower levels.

    Cornus alba sibirica - red barked dogwood

    Trees with interesting bark include the Himalayan Birch - Betula utilis jaquemonti and Tibetan cherry - Prunus serrula with glossy mahogany bark.

    Betula utilis jaquemontii

    Prunus serrula Tibetica

    Shrubs Skimmia rubella and Viburnum tinus Eve Price both have attractive buds that last all winter prior to flowering in spring.

    Skimmia rubella

    Flowering shrubs are particularly welcome in winter - Sarcococca or sweet box is an evergreen shrub with small white fragrant flowers in late winter. Edgeworthia chrysantha or Chinese paper bush also has fragrant flowers and silky cream buds. Hamamelis - witch hazel has spidery yellow, orange or red flowers and some are fragrant too. Mahonia media has yellow fragrant flowers and architectural evergreen foliage - lots of choice!

    Alnus incana aurea catkins

    Many trees have interesting catkins in late winter and early spring - birch, alder, willow and hazel - early signs of spring are always welcome!

  • The Winter Garden

    January need not be dreary with the availability of so many plants to give colour, form or flower in the winter months.

    There is a lovely cherry tree that flowers on and off during mild spells from November to March called the autumn cherry or Prunus subhirtella Autumnalis, it has small white flowers flecked with pink and there is a variety 'Rosea' which has pink flowers. Both have good autumn colour too.

    Evergreen shrubs Viburnum tinus Eve Price and Skimmia both show pink buds throughout winter and have white flowers in spring. Viburnum tinus Eve Price can be grown as a shrub or as a topiary half standard - great for outside a doorway or as a centre piece in a formal garden. Skimmia Rubella prefers a shady site, it will also look good in a container.

    Conifers - particularly dwarf conifers can add colour and form to a winter garden and contrast beautifully with some evergreen shrubs. Choose a blue needled conifer such as Picea pungens glauca globosa to contrast with red leaves such as Leucothoe Zeblid. Dark green conifers contrast well with burgundy foliage such as Pittosporum Tom Thumb. In hedges beech keeps it's rusty brown leaves to great effect throughout winter, evergreen variegated plants such as holly offer a stunning contrast.

    Hamamelis and Sarcococca are among the flowering shrubs looking good now that have fragrant flowers.

    Winter doesn't have to be bleak, choose wisely and a garden can give alot of pleasure during the dreariest of months - even just from inside looking out !

  • Gift ideas

    Need a few ideas for presents?

    Fruit trees - grow your own Apples, Pears, Plums and Cherries or something more unusual? - Figs, Walnuts, Hazelnuts.

    Shrubs - Pittosporum in variety; Autumn flowering Camellias - in flower now! Sweet box - Sarcococca ruscifolia - sweet scented white flowers in mid-winter. Small box topiary cones; Evergreen Rhododendrons and Azaleas.

    Ornamental trees - to look forward to flowering in spring...

    Or just enjoy a browse around the nursery away from the rush !

    We hope you enjoy the run up to Christmas - do pop in and say hello.


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