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Vicky’s Autumn/ Winter Colour Plant Wish List

Vicky’s Autumn/ Winter Colour Plant Wish List

Posted by Helen Soudain on

For our first ‘Gardening Zoom Chat’, on Wednesday we discussed the theme: ‘Injecting Colour into your Garden in the Autumn & Winter.’  Vicky suggested creating a Pinterest mood board for inspiration as a starting point and visiting gardens like Sheffield Park, renowned for it’s stunning Autumn colour, or the winter walk at RHS Wisley, you can also do a virtual tour of some incredible gardens, as-per ‘Garden’s Illustrated Magazine’ suggestions.

This can then be followed with creating a plant ‘wish list’ accompanied by information on each plant ascertaining the suitability for your garden. Once you can be sure that the plants you’ve selected are suitable for your gardens soil type, aspect, and drainage, why not allow your creativity to take over and select plants that really stand out to you!

Vicky was able to help a lovely customer with some advice on choosing plants for a slightly waterlogged site on heavy clay, Vicky suggested planting some Metasequoia and Taxodiums, both of which thrive in swampy conditions and will help suck up the excess water.

Next week ‘Gardening Zoom Chat’, is on Wednesday 25th November 10:00 – 11:00 am

Join Vicky for a relaxed chat about the art of pruning. E mail for the zoom code.

If you are in need of some inspiration check out-

‘Vicky’s Autumn/ Winter Colour Plant Wish List:’

Evergreen Shrubs:

  • Pittosporums are versatile and inject year-round greens, yellow & purple hues. Vicky’s favourite varieties include : Pittosporum tobira, Pittosporum ten. 'Tom Thumb' & Pittosporum ten. 'Golf Ball'.

Pittosporum tenuifolium 'Tom Thumb'- What a superb little evergreen shrub. It not too fussy about where it lives but is best in a sheltered spot. There are also inconspicuous flowers to be smelt in spring, you can’t see them but you can smell them!  Tip: plant with yellow foliage plants e.g. golden philadelphus. You can buy online here

  • Myrtus communis- This evergreen shrub used to be put into bridal bouquets! It has long been grown and comes from the Mediterranean. It has aromatic leaves & wonderful bright white flowers with fluffy centres in summer. Purple black fruits follow in autumn. Best in full sun in a warm sheltered spot. Makes a good hedge. You can buy online here
  • Coprosma are evergreen shrubs from Tasmania and New Zealand which are grown primarily for their attractive foliage colours and combinations. Excellent varieties include: Coprosma ‘Inferno’, Coprosma ‘Evening Glow’, Coprosma ‘Fire Burst’, Coprosma ‘Lemon and Lime’. You can buy them online here
  • Lophomytrus ‘Red Dragon’ is an upright, borderline hardy, evergreen shrub bearing small, oval, glossy, maroon to reddish-purple leaves and, in summer, lightly fragrant, open cup-shaped, white flowers followed by ovoid, dark red fruit. Grow in fertile, humus-rich, moist but well-drained soil in partial shade. Shelter from cold, drying winds and protect from frost. Dislikes excessive winter wet. Can also be grown under glass. Only flowers once mature. You can buy online here
  • Pieris are compact evergreen shrubs with leathery, dark green leaves, often brightly coloured when young, and small white urn-shaped flowers borne in panicles in spring.

Excellent varieties include: Pieris ‘Little Heath’, Pieris flor. ‘Flaming Silver’, Pieris Japonica ‘Mountain Fire’. Vicky’s favourite is, ‘Forest Flame’ a large evergreen shrub, the young foliage bright red, becoming pink and cream, finally green. Small cream bell-shaped flowers in large branched clusters in spring. Grows well in acidic, moderately fertile, humus-rich soil but may need some protection in winter when young. You can buy them online here.

  • Nandina are erect, evergreen shrubs with pinnate to 3-pinnate leaves composed of lance-shaped leaflets which colour well in autumn, and panicles of small, star-shaped white flowers, followed by bright red fruits. Varieties include: Nandina ‘Sunset Boulevard’, Nandina Domestica ‘Bright Light’ and Vicky’s favourite, ‘Fire Power’ is a compact, upright evergreen shrub with compound leaves which are yellowish-green in summer, becoming orange and red in autumn and winter. Flowers small, white, in conical panicles in summer you can buy them online


Conifers provide year-round colour and structure, they are low maintenance and the variety on offer is astonishing, these are just a few of the many varieties that could be incorporated into a planting scheme.

  • Golden Pines such as Pinus mugo 'Carsten's Wintergold'& Pinus mugo 'Carsten's December’, you can buy them online
  • Abies nordmanniana ‘Golden Spreader’- Hand grafted and propagated at Lime Cross Nursery 'Golden Spreader' is a slow-growing evergreen conifer making a small shrub of spreading, bushy growth, wider than tall. The needles turn from green to a beautiful bright golden-yellow in the winter bringing colour to a garden. You can buy online
  • Cryptomeria japonica 'Elegans Compacta'- is otherwise known as Japanese cedar 'Elegans Compacta'. Bushy, evergreen conifer with an abundance of springy, long soft foliage with leaves that turns purple in the summer. Will thrive on all soil types but needs good drainage and prefers to not to be planted in an exposed site. This will reach an eventual height of approximately 2m at a growth rate of 10cm a year thus making it a perfect addition to anyone's garden, providing all year-round colour. Alternatively, plant up in a container for your patio. Available to buy online
  • Abies pinsapo Aurea- Hand grafted and propagated at Lime Cross Nursery, Abies Pinsapo ‘Aurea' is a medium-sized coniferous shrub, or small tree, reaching a maximum height of 8m. The rigid, tapered leaves radiate from all sides of the branchlets and the new foliage emerges a golden-yellow colour before maturing to green.


  • Liquid Amber & Sorbus, for more information on these beautiful trees follow this link to a previous blog.
  • Acer platanoides 'Golden Globe' Golden Globe is a dwarf Norway maple, opposed to Japanese maples which have small and dissected foliage. It has stunning colour when the new growth emerges, changing to yellow green mid spring. Available online to buy here
  • Gingko’s- The genus Ginkgo has a single species represented by a tall deciduous, broad leaved tree that has survived from prehistoric times. Ginkgo is uniquely different from other conifers in many ways, it occupies its own family, Ginkgoacea and its own order, the Ginkgoales. This ancient tree flourished with the dinosaurs about 180-200 million years ago. For a long time Ginkgo’s were considered to be extinct but has since been found growing in the wild in China. Their fan shaped leaves change from green to a golden yellow in the autumn. Vicky’s favourite varieties include: Gingko biloba ‘Finger’, Gingko biloba‘Everton Broom’, Gingko biloba ‘Jade Butterflies' which is hand grafted and propagated at Lime Cross Nursery. 'Jade Butterflies’ is a compact, slow-growing, vase-shaped, deciduous tree with fan-shaped, bi-lobed, mid-green leaves turning golden-yellow in autumn. Pendulous, catkin-like clusters of insignificant, pale green male flowers bloom in spring.
  • Larix, including- Larix decidua 'Krejc', Larix decidua 'Vanc', Larix laricina 'Michigan Tower', Larix laricina 'Iron Rod', all available to buy online here
  • Malus ‘Butterball’, Heavily loaded branches shining with butter coloured fruit each autumn makes this a stunning tree.The apple blossom flowers in spring add to its charm and the fruit are ideal for making crab apple jelly. Available to buy online here.


Intersperse some colours and textures in the form of:

  • Nerines
  • Salvias
  • Grasses
  • Asters






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