Scarlet flower buds open to large white flowers in April, which fade to pink. In autumn, yellow-bronze leaves precede small yellow, orange and red crab apples. Suitable for any moist, well-drained soil in full sun. This small to medium-sized tree can be used as a specimen plant in a border or lawn, or even as a pleached hedge option.
Carex 'Ice Dance'
This evergreen, grass-like sedge is tough and versatile, growing well in full sun to full shade, in moist but well-drained soil. ‘Ice Dance’ produces neat mounds of variegated green and white leaves, bringing interest to the dullest of winter days. Use in a border, rock garden, pot, as a low informal hedge or en masse as ground cover. A low maintenance and extremely tough variety.
Cornus sanguinea 'Midwinter Fire'
This standout shrub has oval green leaves in spring and summer, which transition to richer autumnal shades, and later make way for gorgeous stem colour in winter. Grow in full sun to part shade in well-drained soil types. ‘Midwinter Fire’ can be grown as individual plants in borders or pots, or planted en masse to create a dramatic winter effect. Grown in amongst grasses, they will add texture, movement and contrast to a border.
Helleborus x hybridus
A must-have winter plant, perfect for woodland and shadier gardens. Ideal for adding winter colour, with its downward-facing, bowl-like flowers, that come in colours of white through to purple. Flower colour can be mixed – if you need a specific colour, aim for a cultivar so that you can guarantee this. Little maintenance is required, but you should ideally remove leaves in mid-winter to highlight the emerging flowers.
Prunus x subhirtella 'Autumnalis Rosea'
This small, deciduous tree produces a lovely vase shape as it matures. Perfect for small gardens within a planting scheme, or as a stand-alone specimen. Unlike other flowering cherries, this variety has pale pink, semi-double flowers that bloom sporadically from November through to March. ‘Autumnalis Rosea’ can survive temperatures down to -20, and will grow well in full sun in any soil type.
Skimmia japonica 'Rubella'
A small evergreen shrub with aromatic green leaves. In winter, tight clusters of red flower buds form, opening to white, fragrant, star-shaped flowers in spring. Perfect for a small garden or mixed border, planted en masse or in a pot for autumn/winter interest. Grows well in full sun to semi-shade. As it is a male cultivar, it does not produce berries, but it will pollinate other female cultivars. A great food source for early pollinators in spring. This variety has an AGM.
Viburnum x bodnantense 'Charles Lamont'
A popular, hardy, fast-growing, deciduous shrub, with tubular, dark pink, fragrant flowers, borne on bare wood. Dark green leaves have tinted bronze tips. This can be used as a feature shrub, or as part of a mixed border. In summer, green leaves act as a foil to smaller summer flowering shrubs and perennials. A moist, well-drained soil is best. Its long flowering period makes it a perfect food source for active beneficial insects.