Gardens and plants don't care much for our definition of when a new season begins or if they are in Bromley, Croydon or anywhere else for that matter, they just respond to the conditions they are exposed to within their environment, so it's important to bear this in mind when looking at any Garden. With that said we are officially in what we call Winter which begins on December 1st.
Some of my favourite shows of colour are seen towards the winter and remain long into the season where plants enter their period of dormancy.
First is always Callicarpa bodinieri "Profusion" or as it's known by its common name "Beautyberry" Metallic purple berries which contrast beautifully against its light brown stems and catch the light like little jewels are a welcome sight in any Garden.
These do not require hard pruning as it can affect its ability to produce fruit. Only light tidying is required. Its recommended planting two in order to encourage cross-pollination.
Similar to many of my favourite plants they don't ask much but give plenty in return! Just some well-rotted manure compost when planting should see it off to a fine start, my personal preference for ready to use manure compost:
My second is Cornus alba "Sibirica" which is my specific favourite of the plant commonly known as Dogwood. Plant in rows to provide dramatic and vibrant reds to be unveiled as the leaves fall away, which in my garden has only just started to happen! I've been in other Gardens earlier in autumn where the leaves had already exposed the lovely super bright red stems.
These require cutting back each year to prevent the canes from prolonged maturity where mature hardening and loss of vibrancy occurs.
There are also gradient colour variations blending from dark red into yellow as it reaches the tips, which can create a warm flame-like effect, very cool!
As the days get shorter and temperatures plummet its a good time to plan for the Spring, you still have time to get bulbs in the ground and it's probably best for bulbs like tulips to be planted now that morning frosts have begun here in in the South. Most of all just keep up with the maintenance.
Christmas is coming! And I really do love Christmas! (I even made a Christmas song once! Shhhh!) So will certainly be wearing a festival jumper or two this season and looking forward to seeing all your Xmas decorations when visiting on my rounds!
Kerim - Ziggy Gardening