Cornus 'Sibirica': providing glorious colour and interest in the colder months
Cornus ‘Sibirica’ (also known as Siberian dogwood) is a wonderful plant for any garden. Part of a large family of deciduous shrubs and trees, and happy growing in most soils and conditions, C. ‘Sibirica’ is a medium-sized plant with mid-green oval leaves. It provides small white flowers in spring which are followed by attractive small blue/purple berries. It offers autumn interest too, as its leaves turn yellow and orange as the weather begins to turn.
But it is in winter that C. 'Sibirica' really makes an impact. With the brightest of bright red stems, it provides unrivalled drama and fiery colour to light up even the coldest of cold days. Spectacular in a heavy frost or in snow, it is also a great plant for for adding textural contrast alongside evergreen plants such as Ilex (holly) and Mahonia.
C. ‘Sibirica’ is an exceptionally low-maintenance shrub, and can be left to grow to 1.5-2m without any real attention. For best results, however, it is worth pruning out a third of its stems in early spring. We do this because the younger stems carry the brightest colour (the older growth tends to gradually turn woody and brown), so by removing one-third of the stems each year the plant is always regenerating without losing too much of its height and bulk.
A worthy addition as a single specimen shrub, C. ‘Sibirica’ is even more impactful when grown in clumps or drifts if space permits. I like to 'dot' it throughout the mixed planting schemes I design for our customers- it will go largely unnoticed in spring and summer, but come the winter it adds so much colour and interest. For alternative colour options, consider Cornus ‘Midwinter Fire’ for yellow and orange stems, or Cornus ‘Kesselringii’ for dramatic dark-purple stems.
Yes, I know that we all love the riot of flower colours and textures of a summer garden, but for the colder months let’s enjoy a splash of vibrant colour with the wonderful Cornus ‘Sibirica’.
Tythorne Garden Design provides professional fixed-fee garden design solutions for customers in Grantham, Stamford, Newark and surrounding areas. Let's see how we can help you to enjoy your garden more. Call us on 07900 224 239 or 01529 455 355.