.......... not very much other than an evergreen hedge, a hellebore and the silhouette shape from a deciduous tree.
When the frosts arrived there were no dried seed heads to sparkle, no drama from colourful winter stems and the flower beds just lacked any winter definition. I'm glad to say that all of that changed after many years of gardening, study and loads of trial and error.
Today I'm sharing three of my February winter interest favourites........all with one thing in common the colour red.
Cornus 'Baton Rouge'The deciduous Cornus | Dogwoods are so well suited to this garden as the soil is wet and heavy and for years I've been growing Cornus 'Mid Winter Fire'. Two Cornus 'Baton Rouge' are the newest shrubs that I've added for winter interest. They've the most intense scarlet winter stems especially when the sun is shining. You have to see if for yourself to believe it
|contrasting colours and shapes from the Cornus "Baton Rouge' H4 and the carex grass.|
|Red berries for winter interest from Vaccinium vitis-idaea 'Red Candy' H5|
|I've planted this one in a container for the winter months and added a few other plants from the garden.|
|Capturing the glow from the Cornus 'Baton Rouge' while in the background grows Hamamelis x intermedia 'Pallida' being back lit by the winter sunshine.|
The cornus shrubs can be pruned back quite hard in the spring and then given a good feed. This encourages the new growth which produces the most vivid colours during the winter months.
(You'll find more details about the H4 and H5 annotations next to each featured plant and further information on how to look after planted containers during the winter months on my Scottish Hardiness Ratings Page)
Vaccinium vitis-idaea 'Red Candy'The Lingonberry or Cowberry as it's commonly known as is a very hardy evergreen which is low growing and compact. It can tolerate temperatures down to -40 °C though hates really hot summers so it's perfect for any Scottish garden.
|It's berries are ornamental as they are much too bitter.|
It's probably best to grow more than one type of cowberry in the garden to be sure of getting those winter berries.
Vaccinium vitis-idaea 'Red Candy' last week covered in snow.
Leucothoe fontanesiana 'Rainbow'Finally another plant that deserves a mention for winter interest is the evergreen acid loving plant Leucothoe fontanesiana 'Rainbow'. It grows in a spot in the garden that only gets the morning sunlight and provides the border with lovely red leaves with a little touch of variegation during the winter months. Mine grows below a Cercis canadensis 'Forest Pansy' (American Redbud) which takes over with the red/burgundy theme from late spring onwards as the Leucothoe turns much more green.
|Leucothoe fontanesiana 'Rainbow' H5 covered in frost this week.|
So....... what's red in your flower bed at this time of year ?
Thanks for stopping by today and I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave any questions or feedback in the comments section.
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