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Creating winter interest.

Discussion in 'General Gardening Discussion' started by Jack Sparrow, Sep 7, 2017.

  1. Jack Sparrow

    Jack Sparrow Super Gardener

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    I seem to be starting a habit of asking random questions and derailing other people's carefully constructed threads. Instead Of spreading myself across the whole forum I will try to be more concise. I also have a job to remember which questions I asked where.

    Somewhere, I can't remember where, I touched on the idea of creating winter interest in the garden. Specifically in this location. The sun comes up on the opposite side so apart from the summer this spot is mostly shade.


    image.jpeg

    Everything in the picture will go. My wife has asked me if I can extend the slabs along the edge of the grass to connect the two sections of patio. That makes sense to me although it does shaving the edge of the bed.

    I have already discussed the option of crisscrossing a summer climber from one end a Winter climber from the other. What I want to think about now is the planting in between. I would like all year interest. I've chosen this spot as this is the view from the house.

    Is there a plant pyracantha-esque that can be kept small (2/3 ft sq ish) and won't injure people using the pathway? I have looked at skimmia but I believe you need a male and female plant for anything to happen. I would probably put this plant in the middle as a statement.

    I thought maybe something like a hellebore either side.

    The overall width of the shed is I believe approx 8ft.

    G.

    ps. Until I remove the shrubs I can't tell how wide the flower bed is. There might not be much left once I get the slabs laid.
     
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    • BeeHappy

      BeeHappy Total Gardener

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      @Jack Sparrow good idea and :goodpost:- makes sense for you to have all your ideas and threads in one place smart move :blue thumb: ...........................let the fun begin ;)
       
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      • Verdun

        Verdun Passionate gardener

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        Winter jasmine on the shed Gary.....yellow flowers on good evergreen foliage.
        Hellebores are excellent....one of my favourite plants. Choose them in flower if you can so it means waiting until late winter....unless you buy online. Ashwoods are the best. You can choose colour and type, viz., single or double flowers. A double white would look good there.
        A camellia is always a good choice.
        Heucheras for evergreen foliage....red, yellow and all shades between.
        There are hermaphrodite forms of skimmia... check these out. I grow one called Redruth, a hybrid bred down here in Cornwall.
        Daphnes...Odoraaureomarginata prob the easiest. Lovely variegated evergreen with powerful spring scent from the flowers. For evergreen dark/purple foliage and yellow spring flowers check out euphorbia Rubra. A well behaved attractive small shrub/perennial. I also like euphorbia Polychroma......weeks of chrome yellow flowers from late spring.
        Sarcoccoca, looks like privet and grows a bit like it too except in late winter it has a strong fragrance that wafts around the garden.
        I would always choose grasses and in shade hachonechloa is real class. For evergreen colour check out carex testacea......unique olive colour and low maintenance. another grass, arrhenatherum bulbosum, produces almost white foliage from autumn to mid summer but it is in winter, esp in shade, that it looks so good. Put a red heuchera in front of it for a lovely winter combination
        Anemones.....my own choice is Wild Swan. White flowers with blue backs for months. This is a true beauty and always evokes compliments here.
        Astilbes, astrantias and acteas....coincidentally all beginning with "a".....enjoy shade and provide superb foliage and flowers from spring to autumn.
        "Pyracanthaesque"?? Check out a mahonia called Soft Caress. Small to medium evergreen with, as its name suggests, soft tactile foliage. Yellow flowers in early winter. The shrubby winter honeysuckle, Winter Beauty, is evergreen and highly scented in late spring.
        I could go on and on but others will have suggestions too.
        However, bulbs. In shade white hyacinths and white daffodils really stand out and, esp with White Cheerfulness, offer scent too. A few snowdrops between deciduous plants too.
         
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          Last edited: Sep 7, 2017
        • CarolineL

          CarolineL Gardener

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          Cornus Winter flame?
           
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          • Jack Sparrow

            Jack Sparrow Super Gardener

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            image.jpeg

            This looks good. A nice contrast to the yellow jasmine. The soft caress has potential too. I also like the white swan.
             
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            • Jack Sparrow

              Jack Sparrow Super Gardener

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              Again, I'm getting way ahead of myself here. Can I cover the shed with chicken wire to support the climbers? I have a big roll of that.

              G.
               
            • Verdun

              Verdun Passionate gardener

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              Yes you can Gary :)
               
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              • Jack Sparrow

                Jack Sparrow Super Gardener

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                Morrisons have helebore Niger for £2 each. There are so many varieties to choose from. I'm not sure if white is my preference. If I bought any now and planted them for safe keeping they would be in full sun. Would that be bad?

                G.
                 
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                • Verdun

                  Verdun Passionate gardener

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                  Helleborus niger IS white Gary. There are some pinky white ones.....not as attractive in my opinion.
                  Couple of things......Niger is often not the easiest of the hellebores to grow; can be fickle. In the garden rain can spoil the flowers by splashing mud on them......some grit around them is advisable to combat this. It is one of the earliest to flower, hence its common name the "christmas rose". Depending on its size it may not flower this year. .
                  Not to be confused with the more colourful hellebore (orientalis) hybrids though that do come in different colours from white through to black...every colour in between except for blue and orange.......and flower from late winter to late spring
                  Niger is not a plant for "safe keeping"......either pot it on into a bigger pot, use john innes number 3, or plant out in the garden
                   
                • Jack Sparrow

                  Jack Sparrow Super Gardener

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                  I guess I'll wait until I'm ready then look at the range of colours available. If I bought a hellebores hybrid could I divide it?

                  G.
                   
                • Verdun

                  Verdun Passionate gardener

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                  No Gary. Not one to divide until you need to, viz., when it is pretty big. I have never had a problem dividing hellebores but some people do.
                  If you want a specific colour or style of hellebore check out the Ashwoods hellebore site; otherwise wait until spring when they are in the GC's :)
                   
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                  • Jack Sparrow

                    Jack Sparrow Super Gardener

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                    No problem. I'm looking at Hebe at the moment. Lots to choose from.

                    G.
                     
                  • Jack Sparrow

                    Jack Sparrow Super Gardener

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                  • Verdun

                    Verdun Passionate gardener

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                    no, they could complement each other colour wise....more importantly though Gary is soil moisture. Honeysuckles usually need reasonably moist soil.....varieties like Serotina for example, a very popular one, must not dry out in summer. It drops its leaves often because of mildew cos of being too dry. Your hebe, on the other hand, needs dry well drained soil. So, not compatible.
                    Gary, its not just about colour schemes, etc. ......determine what soil you have, how moist, etc. etc. and choose plants to suit your conditions :)
                     
                  • Jack Sparrow

                    Jack Sparrow Super Gardener

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                    I'm not sure what my soil is. I know it's thick and black. The area is known for clay so I guess that's what I've got. The fields behind me are prone to flooding which is the main reason that planning permission applications are usually rejected. I believe it is because the land owner filled in the dyke to increase his yield. Thankfully to date my garden hasn't had a flooding issue. There are puddles when it rains heavily but they do seem to clear ok.

                    In a couple of weeks I hope to be going to a local gardening society meeting. Hopefully I will get the low down about local conditions from them.

                    G.
                     

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