Plant of the Month - January 2024

For January, we will look at three stars of the winter garden. The highly scented winter box and Hamamelis along with Dogwoods and their bright stems.

Hamamelis, also known as Witch Hazel, is a large deciduous plant with attractive flowers on bare stems. In January, these flowers are highly scented and add structure to a winter garden. One of the highlights of many winter gardens, like Anglesey abbey’s, they can grow up to 3m. A favourite variety is Arnold’s promise. Witch Hazel provide some of the best autumn leaf colour of any deciduous plant.

Our second favourite for the winter garden is a more compact shrub which benefits from being evergreen. Sarcococca Humilis winter box (see below) is a compact, evergreen shrub only growing up to 60cm. It produces very small, cream flowers which are extremely scented and often form black berries after they have flowered.

Although not scented like the two above, the third favourite of the winter garden is Dogwood Cornus with its colourful stems in several different fiery shades. One of the more compact varieties, which doesn't require pruning as regularly as the other varieties to keep its colourful stems, is Midwinter Fire. Midwinter Fire is more compact and has several shades of yellow and orange as you go up the stems. Corns also have a nice autumn leaf colour.

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