November – Sorbus

 Time to sing the praises of Sorbus!  This genus comprises around 100 trees and shrubs including whitebeams (simple leaves) and rowans (compound leaves). The rowans are an excellent choice for a small garden as they do not make big trees and they offer something all year round.  Their berries range from white to yellow, orange, …

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July – Hydrangea

Unrivalled in the shrub world, Hydrangea can be deciduous or evergreen shrubs, or self-clinging climbers.  They are easy to cultivate, hardy and tolerant of almost any soil.  From late spring to late autumn these elegant plants produce an abundance of delicate flower heads in shades of pink, white or blue. When little else may be in …

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Hydrangea - Pink Macrophylla

May – Wisteria

At this time of year you do not have to look far to see walls and pergolas festooned with racemes of beautiful, fragment flowers thanks to wonderful wisteria. These deciduous, twining climbers flower in the spring, with occasional summer flowers, spectacularly showing off their beautifully scented flowers in shades of white, blue, purple and pink. …

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Wisteria (4)

April – Euphorbia

With more than 2,000 species spread throughout the world Euphorbia is one of the most successful flowering genera on the planet.  Commonly known as spurges, these wonderful and diverse plants come in a wide range of shapes and sizes.  There are only 150 hardy, leafy spurges which will tolerate the British climate, yet they are …

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Euphorbia 1

March – Camellia

Just when it seems winter may never end, spring arrives in my garden in the shape of Camellia japonica. Also known as common camellia or Japanese camellia, this is one of the best known species of the genus Camellia and is sometimes called the Rose of winter, Camellias are large, attractive, broad-leaved, evergreen shrubs. Their …

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February – Cornus alba ‘Sibirica’

The dogwoods are a cosmopolitan bunch.  Three groupings are typified by flowering trees such as Cornus kousa or Cornus mas.  The fourth grouping is probably the best known and is exemplified by Cornus alba ‘Sibirca’. These shrubs are extremely accommodating and versatile garden plants.  They have white flowers and small fleshy berries but they are …

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Cornus Alba

January – Sarcococca hookeriana var. digyna ‘Purple Stem’

Fully hardy and from the Buxaceae family, Sarcococca species are slow-growing, evergreen, highly-fragrant, winter-flowering shrubs. There are a few different varieties but the most desirable must be Sarcococca hookeriana var. digyna ‘Purple Stem’.  Flowering from December through to March it is an upright, compact, suckering, evergreen shrub which gradually forms a dense thicket. The new …

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Sarcococca hookeriana

December – Ilex (holly)

As winter makes its presence felt, there can be no cheerier sight in the garden than a berry-laden Ilex.  Commonly known as English holly, most Ilex are derived from our native Ilex aquifolium and its hybrid I. x altaclerensi.   They can be deciduous or evergreen, shrubs or trees.   With glossy, often spiny leaves, they produce brightly …

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October – Abelia x grandiflora

One of my all time favourite shrubs, this plant gives you scent and colour from late spring, throughout the summer and well into autumn. Abelia x grandiflora is a vigorous evergreen or semi-evergreen shrub with an arching habit. It is not a particularly tidy shrub but the arching stems give a wonderful feeling of movement. …

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Abelia x grandiflora