This time of year we always have a good few customers come in to CountryLife looking for some shrubs and plants to add some winter interest to their gardens. People tend to want some colour and variety in their gardens over the Christmas season to impress visitors that call to the house over the festive season.
Shrub for great winter colour
One plant that customers are drawn to the minute they see it in the garden center is Callicarpa. The main attraction of this plant is hands down the vivid purple berries that it produces in late autumn and which last until well into March the following year.
Now the berries are not very big (only measuring about 5mm in diameter) but they appear in such numbers they have great visual impact. And then the colour really jumps out at you on dull overcast days in the garden.
Very little maintenance is involved with Callicarpa
Birds do not seem too interested in the berries on this shrub so they tend to last intact right through the season, which is great. As soon as they do start to fall off the branches I like to give the shrub a prune to keep it maintained as neat compact shrub.
It is a relatively plain shrub during the summer so it best placed towards the back of a flowerbed with more colorful summer flowers in front of it.
Camellia Sasanqua is another medium sized shrub that customers love at the moment because it is actually in flower now. The flowers start to appear in mid/late autumn and continue to bloom right through to the start of spring. These camellias have much smaller leaves than the normal variety but still have the traditional large showy flowers, which are a welcome sight around this time of year when everything else has faded away.
There are two varieties that I always tell people to look out for when they are thinking about buying a Camellia Sasanqua for their garden:
1. The first is called Cleopatra and it has brilliant pink flowers with just the subtlest blush of white through the petals.
2. Then second is called Fuji and it has much more intense pinkish red flowers that really stand out in a winter garden.
Christmas Box is always popular around here at this time of year too. The great thing with this shrub is that it is very compact and it actually does best in a slightly shaded spot in the garden where other shrubs would not do as well. It is full of interest around this time of year as it tends to have both berries and flowers on its branches at the same time give you a great show.
We’re here to help
If you need any help with choosing the best shrubs for your garden talk to any of our horticulturists in store. Ask us about our potting service. We’d love to help.