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5 Dream Plants to Perk-Up Winter Days

A bundle of serene plants for the ultimate winter garden.

Your needs change as crisp days roll in, master garden styling for pathways, secluded areas and doorways, that are lit to welcome you. Enter five dream plants which can deliver a restorative treatment to your green spaces this winter:

1. Loropetalum

I picked this rouge-noir leafed beauty earlier in the year and it has not disappointed. In February, she treated me to spectacular mini-hot pink flowers which kept going and going so happily planted. In summer, as a single architectural shape she graced the garden with all the theatre herbaceous can summon. Now, as an evergreen plant, I have the rouge-noir foliage offering a slightly sculptural form at the back door, under-lit to greet everyone.

2. Sarcococca

Just after my new favourite, Loropetalum, comes the Christmas sweet box, Sarcococca. Instagram-gold with it’s healthy stems and unctuous green foliage, dappled with berries and white, vanilla-perfumed flowers. From December to March, it continues to flourish in a shady border, pot or woodland scene, it’s a true highlight.

Christmas Box shrub with flowers and berries

3. Abelia grandiflora

This arty plant is a big producer, refreshing its foliage from green to terra rosa tones all year. The small, fragrant trumpet flowers are blush-white and standout against the continually changing foliage palette. Creative and enchanting, decorating a border with it’s arching branches.

4. Hamamelis x intermedia

I find the coral tones of the hamamelis palette draws a soft warmth to the garden in late-winter. To fully embrace these credentials in winter, positioning is invaluable. Planting near pathways for their perfume of citrus and spice, can be so warming on a winter’s day as you brush past. Setting-out with woodland plants and bulbs which are thriving at this time of year and richly mulching, gives this winter garden hero a healthy canvas to display its bewitching flowers and lateral stems in the landscape. The flowery twigs can be cut to bring inside.

5. Helleborus

With many Helleborus to choose from, many with differing flower periods and not all of them hardy, I would plump for ‘purpurascens’ as it bursts open with rose madder blooms in December, just in time for Christmas, and its fully hardy so will grace your garden with flowers until March. 

a carpet of heavenly hellebores, winter's loveliest luminaries, in pinks, whites and deep plum purples

An absolute favourite is Helleborus x sahinii ‘Winterbells’. In planters, a mass of nodding textured blooms is reminiscent of parchment paper and with its palette of dusky rose, fresh white and green pastels it perfectly chimes with a winter-chic style vibe.

To order plants or find out more about garden treatments, email sayhello@theoxfordshiregardener.co.uk or call 01869 338592.

For a full review of plants and trees we’re planting in the winter garden, visit theoxfordshiregardener.co.uk

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