Add colour to those dull winter days.
Unlike other seasons when there is riotous flower colour all around, the hues of winter are more subtle and found in other forms such as berries, bark and foliage.
The severity of winter can make it difficult to guarantee colour, but some plants are reasonably reliable.
We have chosen a selection of plants to help you with your planning, see our guide plate below...
Hamamelis molis or flowering witch hazel is just one of many plants that will brighten up those dull winter days, its contorted stems and bright yellow flowers look stunning in the bright winter sunshine.
The severity of the winter can make it difficult to guarantee colourful foliage throughout the winter, but some plants are reasonably reliable. Nandina domestica (ornamental bamboo) is an adaptable shrub with foliage that turns red when weather gets cold. Most varieties have berries and feathery foliage.
Mahonia is a great hardy plant with bright yellow flowers, scent and winter foliage, other foliage plants to consider for winter interest are ornamental grasses which add movement, texture and quiet colour.
In winter, nothing is more stunning than the red branches of the dogwood (cornus alba sibirica) and these can be underplanted with Eunonymus Silver Queen; whose foliage shows off the bright red stems.
Planting up pots and urns with winter interest plants is a good way of brightening the patio. A mixture of winter heathers (Erica carnea) and winter flowering pansies make a colourful show. These can then be underplanted with early spring flowering bulbs for a bright splash of colour.