Red berries can brighten up a frosty morning

Gaultheria in the frost
Gaultheria in the frost

Your monthly gardening column with Michelle Unsworth, from So Plants Boutique Garden Centre, Preston Road, Longridge.

Winter has finally arrived and the weather is often cold, wet and foggy. We live for those clear, crisp, mornings, when the light hits the frost that cloaks our garden.

There is a lot to enjoy at this time of year, so try to ensure your garden has features that enhance the seasonal weather, such as seed heads, which catch the frost beautifully. Some that spring to mind are the seed heads of fennel, the graceful, arching leaves of grasses and the ripe red berries of Skimmias and Gaultherias.

Twin these with winter feature plants, such as the coral-barked maple Acer Sango-kaku; the twisted stems of the corkscrew hazel, Corylus contorta; witch hazels; hellebores and eleganus with its evergreen waxy leaves and tiny flowers, which emit a delightful perfume. Many winter-interest plants are scented, and are shade-tolerant due to lower winter light levels.

Many can be planted in containers and moved to a prominent position when they are at their best.

Simple topiary shapes of box, buxus sempervirens, and yew, Taxus baccata, are beautiful when ‘iced’ with a layer of frost or snow.

Now is also a great time to plan your garden for the future; take a look at the winter outline and consider adding some shape, structure and colour, which will not only compliment your summer garden, but also bring it to life in the winter.