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5 glorious evergreens for the winter garden

If you’re looking for a reliable hardy plants that can add interest and colour to the garden throughout the autumn and winter, then Ladybrook Nursery can definitely recommend versatile evergreens. Evergreens are wonderful plants that add year-round interest to gardens, particularly throughout the winter months when much of the rest of the garden lies fallow. Here are 5 of Ladybrook Nursery’s favourite evergreens.

Camelia x williamsii ‘Donation’

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A truly gorgeous shrub and one of the most popular camellias with its large, showy rose-pink flowers with golden stamens. These appear prolifically in late winter and last well until spring when they helpfully drop from the plant, rather than fading and remaining on the plant like others in their family. Like all camellias ‘Donation’ needs ericaceous soil but is very happy grown in a pot.

Shrub

Height: 5m

Foliage: evergreen – dark green

Flower colour: soft pink – semi-double

Flowering: February to May

Aspect: full to partial shade/sheltered

Ilex aquifolium ‘Silver Queen’

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One of the best hollies, ‘Silver Queen’ lives up to its name with stunning, slender, variegated foliage in rich green and cream. Produces dark berries in winter. All hollies are either male or female and will only produce berries if one of each is nearby so grow more than one to ensure fruit. ‘Silver Queen’ is an attractive shrub/ small tree for the garden border.

Tree – compact

Height: 8m

Foliage: evergreen – dark green with cream edges

Flowering: winter berries

Aspect: full sun or partial shade

Skimmia japonica ‘Rubella’

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Skimmias are undemanding plants; ‘Rubella’ is an easy to grow shrub with beautiful prolific wine-red buds offering colour and interest throughout autumn. These are followed by striking cones of white flowers, which flourish throughout the winter. Skimmia japonica ‘Rubella’ is a male plant, which means it won’t produce berries but will promote berries on any other female skimmias you may have in your garden. A slow grower it is ideal for the front of a border or a small winter pot.

Shrub

Height: 1.5m

Foliage: evergreen – mid green

Flower colour: red buds opening to white fragrant flowers

Flowering: winter

Aspect: sun to partial shade

Daphne odora ‘Aureomarginata’

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A handsome, easy-to-grow, evergreen shrub, The Daphne odora ‘Aureomarginata will fill a small garden with its enchanting scent. Beautiful clusters of pale pink flowers open in midwinter over lush dark green leaves edged in gold. Once the flowers fade they are followed by scarlet berries. Plant it at the front of a border to make the most of its fragrance and beautiful colour.

Shrub

Height: 1.5m

Foliage: evergreen with yellow edges

Flower colour: purplish pink – fragrant

Flowering: midwinter to early spring

Aspect: full sun to partial shade

Mahonia x media ‘Winter Sun’

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Mahonia x media ‘Winter Sun’ is one of the most popular plants in the mahonia family. It has elegant deep green leaves and striking, large racemes of fragrant, lemon flowers in midwinter. These colourful flowers are followed by small, ornamental purple berries. Mahonia x media ‘Winter Sun’ is an excellent, tough plant for a shady spot and much valued for its winter interest

Shrub

Height: 2m

Foliage: evergreen – dark spiny

Flower colour: pale lemon, scented

Flowering: November to March

Aspect: full sun to partial shade

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