Winter Planting to add Structure, Colour and Cheer…

January is not my favourite month and some years it seems longer than 31 days.  But as the month pushes forward it is cheering to see the day light lasting a little longer each day.  In my own front garden I am determined to add to the cheer by planting colourful, structural, evergreen shrubs with winter flowers and bulbs.  Our garden is west facing, sunny, very windy and 500 feet above sea level in Scotland, so anything I plant must be very tough to survive the winter gales that blast our front garden in the winter. So if you are looking for tough shrubs, here are a few to try.

Ilex x altaclerensis ‘Golden King’ with Pinus mugo ‘Winter Gold’

Ilex ‘Golden King’ is a lovely Holly with evergreen leaves with a soft cream edge and bright red berries (it is actually a female) planted with structural Pinus mugo ‘Winter Gold’, this Pinus foliage is green during the summer, but as the cold weather comes the foliage turns yellow.  If you are looking for a lovely winter flowering shrub, a winter flowering witch hazel is a delight – you can also choose a scented one – plant by a pathway you pass daily.

Hamamelis – winter yellow flowering witch hazel.

Pinus mugo ‘Mops’ is a small rounded tough evergreen shrub with fresh green foliage and compliments Hellebore argutifolius now flowering and the red stems of Cornus ‘Midwinter Fire’.

Evergreen Pinus mugo ‘Mops’.

Hellebore argutifolius with Cornus sanguinea ‘Midwinter Fire’.

Adding early flowering bulbs really adds to the winter cheer.  Add a winter flowering container by your front door or pathway.  Focus on evergreen shrubs such as Sarcococca (in flower now and scented), plus Hecheras, Euphorbias, Skimmas, grasses etc to give different structural form, colour and scent. To see more on this front garden click on

iris reticulata

Iris reticulata in flower.

Winter interest planted container.



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