David Jordan, Assistant Head Gardener at Anglesey Abbey shares his tips for creating winter colour in your garden.
- If you’ve got space fill it with big blocks of colour, rather than dot gardening.
- Cornus has good vibrant colours, yellows, greens, reds and even black, and can be kept relatively small if pruned every spring just as the leaves are breaking out of bud.
- Prunus serrula (Tibetan cherry), with its really shiny coppery-coloured bark, which peels off, gives a wonderful effect with the sun behind it.
- Ornamental brambles give great texture; though don’t pick the really vigorous ones. I’d suggest Rubus biflorus with its chalky white stems.
- For scent, go for Sarcococca, its evergreen, likes chalky soils and grows in most conditions but doesn’t like being exposed to icy winds.
- For under-planting, go for irises, cyclamen, and snowdrops of course. Snowdrops like dappled shade and don’t like to dry out too much. They don’t want to be disturbed, so don’t hoe too much. Only lift and split when clumps have got too congested – say every 3-5 years depending on the size of the clump and how well they’re doing. They will benefit from a feed when they’re in leaf, bonemeal is fine or something organic. An autumn leaf-mould mulch works a treat in our Winter Garden.