Plant of the Month - November

With winter approaching and most plants entering their dormant season, for Novembers plant of the month we are going to look at stem and berry interest in the garden along with a few flowering plants for the winter garden.

One of the most common plants for stem interest is the Cornus, there any many lovely varieties with many different shades of green, yellow red and almost purple.

Cornus Alba 'Sibirica

One of the larger winter interest Cornus which forms a thicket of thin red stems turning a bright crimson in the colder winter months, will produce small white flowers in the summer if left unpruned.

Cornus Sanguinea Midwinter Fire

Grown for the brilliant flame-coloured stems that are revealed when the leaves, which turn orange-yellow in Autumn shed. This fabulous dogwood looks best planted in groups in damp areas of the garden, beside water, or in a winter border. If you are looking for a more compact plant this is ideal, as it is form of dogwood it doesn't require as much maintance as other varieties. It is best planted in a sunny location, and works particularly well with red or purple-stemmed varieties of dogwood.

Cornus sericea ‘Flaviramea’

Boasts bright yellow-green stems, and looks fantastic when planted with evergreen shrubs, and among spring flowers between the bare stems.

To get the best of the winter stem colour and maintain nice compact plants most varieties need pruning hard every couple of years. Cut back to around 10-20 cm this low framework is known as a stool, Cornus will grow in any soil and prefer a sunny spot to get the best stem colour.

One of the more unusual plants for stem interest is the twisted hazel Corylus 'Contorta'. It is a large deciduous shrub with highly contorted and twisted branches bearing broadly ovate leaves and pendent yellow male catkins in late winter and early spring; useful for winter flower arrangements

Our favourite plant for a November winter garden is Callicarpa with its interesting purple berries. Callicarpa Bodinieri var. Giraldii 'Profusion'

Profusion' is a medium-sized deciduous shrub of upright habit, up to 3m in height. Its leaves are purplish when young, turning rosy-pink in Autumn. It boasts small flowers during the Summer months followed by lilac berries turning violet-purple in compact clusters.

Decembers plant of the month will be featuring house plants and how to care for your poinsettia. We have listed a few plants below which will flower during the colder winter months.

Although there aren't many flowering plants over the winter the early flowering Christmas hellebore is ideal for a winter garden. Hellebourus Christmas Carol is one of the earliest flowering with an abundance of white flowers, one of most compact varieties of Hellebourus.

Another of the few flowering winter shrubs is Sarcocoa Confusa (Christmas box) this is a reliable evergreen compact shrub which will grow pretty much everywhere and in the depths of winter produces an abundance of sweet smelling small white flowers.

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