Garden design for Christmas: the twelve plants of Christmas for your seasonal garden
Christmas is such a busy time for most of us and it can be tempting to forget all about our gardens. But with a little thought and imagination, our gardens can contribute to our seasonal celebrations. With this in mind, here are Tythorne Garden Design's 12 favourite plants for a Christmas garden. And where better to start than with the traditional holly and the ivy…
1. ILEX ‘Golden King’ (Holly) (pictured above): an excellent holly with superb gold and green leaves. It’s not too large, has a beautiful pyramid shape, and usually provides lots of lovely red berries. What more could you want at this time of the year?
2. HEDERA ‘Sulphur Heart’ (Ivy): an attractive ivy with large green and yellow leaves to provide a welcome splash of brightness in the darker months.
3. SKIMMIA ‘Rubella’: bursts into life just in time for the festive season. Red autumnal flower buds become beautifully scented white flowers as the weather turns colder.
4. VIBURNUM ‘Dawn’: a great large shrub for winter interest, providing a profusion of highly fragrant pink flowers on bare stems. A real ‘must have’ plant for all but the smallest gardens.
5. CORNUS ‘Sibirica’ (Dogwood): this red-stemmed dogwood is a great shrub for winter cheer, particularly on a frosty or snowy day. Its bright red stems offer attractive colour and texture.
6. PHORMIUM ‘Sundowner’ (New Zealand Flax): attractive throughout the year, but especially useful during the winter when its multi-coloured foliage and striking leaves really stand out.
7. CLEMATIS ‘Freckles’: an under-used but very attractive Clematis. One of the few evergreen climbers, it offers simple but pleasing soft pink flowers just in time for Christmas.
8. PRUNUS serrula (Tibetan cherry): a fantastic tree for a small to medium garden, Prunus serrula’s beautiful peeling dark-red bark looks really glorious at this time of year.
9. BETULA ‘Jacquemontii’ (Himalyan birch): another great tree for a modestly-sized garden. The ‘whiter than white’ bark always catches the eye, particularly in winter light. Choose a multi-stem version for added interest.
10. ABIES procera (Noble Fir): a great ‘Christmas tree’ to grow in a larger garden, with soft blue/green needles with an attractive scent. A wonderful specimen tree and surely the perfect festive plant.
11. GALANTHUS nivalis (snowdrop): often thought to flower between January to March, if we are lucky we might have the first few tiny blooms in late December. Even if they don’t flower in time for the big day, seeing the fresh green leaves pushing through cold winter soil always makes me smile.
12. BRASSICA ‘Bedford’ (Brussels sprouts): a ‘must-have’ for Christmas dinner in our house. Why not have a go at growing your own sprouts next year? They are not, in all honesty, the easiest vegetables to grow, but they are well worth the effort.