Days may be short and dreary, light levels low, the nights long and cold but outside, even in this the bleakest periods, the garden is far from lacking interest. Lustrous ivies, clinging to walls and trees, shiny hollies, glistening laurels, each contribute form and pattern to a bare landscape.
Evergreen shrubs in the winter garden provide structure, colour and fragrance. Skimmias, Callicarpa and hollies add colour with their bright berries. Whilst the fragrances from Mahonias, Hamamelis, Viburnums, Edgworthia and Christmas box waft across the garden.
Brighten up a corner with the variegated leaves of euonymus, holly or golden yew. Create shapes with clipped box, yew or Japanese holly in your borders, hedges or in pots. They can add formality or smarten up your patio or either side of your front door.
Hellebores (sometimes known as the Christmas or Lenten rose) look great in pots, perfect for brightening up shady areas during late winter and early spring. Some species are grown for their striking evergreen architectural foliage. The Christmas or Lenten rose is a hardy and very long-lived perennial that flowers in the winter and early spring.
Replace the summer flowering plants in pots and containers with brightly coloured cyclamen, pernettya; bearing white, pink or red berries, ornamental cabbages, variegated ivy and underplant with spring bulbs for extended colour throughout late winter and early spring.
Whether they form bold patterns in a formal bed, fill in the detail of a mixed border, provide a splash of colour in a container, or create sweeping drifts beneath trees or in grass, bulbs bring vitality to the more permanent planting of the garden.
Snowdrops, crocus and daffodils are the heralds of spring. When we spot them in the garden they bring a smile to our faces and the certainty that spring is on its way.
Create a sparkle on the patio for Christmas cheer. Choose a potted, root balled or container grown Christmas tree that you can pot on each year or plant it in your garden, staff will be able to help you choose one that suit your requirements and advise you how to pot it on or plant it.
Alternatively choose a ready cut tree for indoors or out, they come in several different heights without roots and often already with a slice of wood on the bottom to stand them upright. At the Love Plants centre you can can choose from a large range of sizes, our staff are on hand to help you make that choice. They can remove the wooden block so that you can insert it in a stand that holds water or net your tree ready for you to take home and they will be happy to carry your tree to your vehicle or arrange delivery for you.
Top favourite Christmas tree varieties:-
- Abies Nordmanniana (Caucasian Fir) an evergreen, densely branched and broadly pyramidal fir; retaining its branches almost to the ground, even in old age. Native to the Caucaus and mountains of northern Turkey; widely planted in central Europe and elsewhere for timber, can grow to 70m. A popular fir chosen as a Christmas tree because it retains it’s blue-green needles better than other varieties, especially if kept watered and away from direct sources of heat.
- Picea abies subsp. abies (Norway Spruce) a conical evergreen conifer with sweeping, curved branches that can grow up to 65m. A major forest tree in northern Europe and in mountains as far south as the Alps and Balkan Peninsula. Extensively planted for timber in many areas, it is the species commonly used for Christmas trees.
- Abies fraseri (Fraser fir, Southern Balsam fir) is a medium-sized tree, forming a narrow, conical crown. Named after Scottish botanist John Fraser (1750-1811) and widely used as a Christmas tree. It’s mild fragrance, shape, strong limbs, and abililty to retain its soft needles for a long time when cut make it one of the best trees for this purpose. This variety has been used more times as the Blue Romm Christmas tree (the official Christmas tree of the President of the United States’ White House) than any other type of tree.
- Picea pungens Glauca (Blue Spruce, Colorado spruce) is widely used as a Christmas tree due to its conical habit and dense horizontal branches which are covered wiht grey-green needles. It also has a high needle retention rate. One of the most ornamental of the conifers the blue spruce makes a great specimen tree in parklands and garden situation. Commonly grows up to 15m. A very hardy tree which is able to withstand very cold winters. Grows best in wet but free draining soil in full sunlight.