I have planted and grown many of these over the years and for those of you that visit University Park in Nottingham, most can be found in the winter garden next to the Millennium Garden.
|Hamamelis mollis 'Pallida' - yellow witch hazel, a good reliable cultivar flowering in late winter with a bonus of fiery autumn colour.|
|Daphne bholua 'Janet Postil' - a good scented daphne that I only discovered in recent years. I bought one for the Uni before I left but don't know if it ever got planted|
|Jasminum nudiflorum - an old stock favourite - often badly pruned. Plant it at the top of a bank and let it grow naturally creating a cascade of bright green stems and yellow winter flowers.|
|Winter flowering heathers - cultivars of Erica carnea and Erica x darleyensis. Many named hybrids which bloom from late autumn to springs. And unlike their summer flowering relatives the winter ones are tolerant of alkaline soils.|
|Mahonia x media - many different cultivars such as the well know 'Charity' that are all quite similar. Flowers from late autumn through to spring and the bonus of a strong perfume|
|Garrya elliptica - great for a north wall and blooms the whole winter|
|Skimmia japonica 'Rubella' - this is the male form so no berries but the main display is the bright red winter buds. In late spring, these open to white flowers, a little plain after the red berries.|
|Chimonanthus praecox - probably my favorite winter shrub. I recall discovering it many years ago as a student at Writtle and cutting a small sprig for my room. The claw-like flowers are curious but the sweet perfume is beautiful.|
|Viburnum x bodnantense - good winter standby for January colour and scent. Several cultivars such as 'Dawn' and 'Deben'.|
Back in Palm Springs I am struggling to name many plants that choose the winter as their main display season. There are of course those such as Bougainvillea and Lantana that bloom virtually all the year round. Here are just a few good winter ones.
|Euphorbia milii - one of the tender succulent spurges|
|Senna artemesioides - good easy free flowering shrub if its left alone and not pruned|
|Strelitzia regina - the bird of paradise - not sure that this is particularly winter specific but our plant seems to always flower in the winter and rest in the heat of summer. Our plant currently has 22 beautiful flower spikes.|