Dreamscape Gardens’ MD Dan Newby shows us how to bring some jewel-like colour to our wintry gardens.
If you’re looking out at your garden and it’s bare and dull-looking, take heed! It needn’t be, it could in fact be bursting with colour from berries from well-chosen bushes. So, to avoid this autumn/winter ‘flatness’ next year, take a look at Dan’s top three bushes for seasonal and plant some of these beauties now.
Top of my list would be Cotoneaster Horizontalis (aka ‘fishtail’), which in autumn will be smothered in shiny red berries. As its name suggests it spreads horizontally so is great to grow against a low wall, creating all sorts of interesting shapes. It will drop its leaves as winter approaches, but they turn an attractive shade of pink before they fall, and an added bonus is that in spring, its rather inconsequential flowers seem to attract bees like nothing else – it’ll be covered with them!
Pyracantha (aka firethorn) is evergreen so you’ll have the lovely dark green leaves all through the winter. Most importantly, they’ll be topped with masses of golden, yellow or red berries (depending on which variety you chose). They can be easily trained with a bit of judicious pruning and have the added bonus of being thorny so make a good deterrent plant too.
Finally, Viburnum. There are many to choose from but if you select the right variety you can have a fabulous display of winter berries as well as a lovely show of spring flowers. ‘Japanese snowball’ is a good choice with its pure white flowers in spring and gleaming red berries in autumn/winter.
And very importantly, the berries feed the birds and keep them visiting your garden all year round!