Does winter mean there's not much to look at in the garden?
The autumn is well and truly upon us and whilst we’re currently enjoying the glorious colours that the warm autumn conditions are providing our trees, it will soon be time for the bare branches to be exposed and with them a reminder of the dreary winter months ahead.
Aside from the standard evergreen varieties of trees and shrubs available for sustained winter colour in the garden, we thought we’d go in search of some suggestions for flowering winter trees to provide some much needed respite from those darker winter days.
Here are some of our favourites:
Alnus Incana Aurea
With its orange/golden bark and branches and bright pink catkins which grow and deepen in colour during the winter, the Golden Alder is a great choice for adding colour and interest into your winter garden. Most suited to semi shaded areas and moist soil, the Golden Alder will reach an eventual height of 7-12 metres.
Prunus x subhirtella 'Autumnalis'
Often overlooked in favour of the more common spring flowering relative, this beautiful ornamental cherry tree is not only extremely hardy (it has been known to grow well near to the Scottish borders where their winters are considerably harsher than ours!) but it is the only variety of ornamental cherry that flowers during the winter months. It is extremely tolerant of soil conditions and aspect which makes it a perfect choice for all but the smallest of gardens.
Hamamelis x intermedia 'Diane'
Grown as a shrub or small tree, Witch Hazels are a firm favourite for winter colour. Although more usually known for its striking yellow flowers and strong scent, this rare variety is an amazing alternative with its dark, ruby-red flowers with long, ribbon-like petals and a sweet fragrance. This plant needs a wide open space in full sun or partial shade to show off its magnificent winter display.
Another large shrub or small tree, the Parrotiopsis jacquemontii has creamy white coloured flowers during the latter part of the winter months or early spring, bearing resemblance to Chinese and American dogwoods.