In winter, the absence of flowers can make the garden feel drab. Using plants with colourful stems and interesting bark can brighten up the winter garden. The red dogwood, Cornus alba ‘Sibirica’ and the golden coloured Cornus sanguinea ‘Midwinter Fire’ are both easy shrubs to grow. Cut back in spring to ensure colourful stems for the following winter.
Contrast comes from the white arching stems of the ornamental bramble Rubus cockburnianus, although the thorns on this plant can be quite bothersome.
For taller effect, the Tibetan cherry, Prunus serrula, has attractive bark that looks as though it has been polished, while the maple, Acer griseum, (the paperbark maple) has reddish peeling bark. Our native silver birch, Betula pendula, is as graceful as its scientific name implies but the white form of the Himalayan birch, Betula utilis var. jacquemontii is even whiter.
Most of these plants feature in The Caley’s new Winter Border at Saughton Park. Once the park is fully opened, come along and get some inspiration for winter colour in your garden.