Top 10 evergreen shrubs and trees to
bring colour to your garden this winter
A winter garden staple, this much-loved shrub has polished leaves and clusters of rose tinted buds from autumn onwards, which burst into flat heads of white, starry flowers. Gently fragranced, these last all through winter and are followed by distinctive, metallic-blue berries when they fade. Look out for the compact variety 'Eve Price', the perfect centerpiece to a winter pot.
Bring a flash of yellow to your garden this winter with this elegant, upright shrub. Spikes of lemon yellow flowers emerge from rosettes of striking, holly-like leaves and last from mid autumn right up until spring. Sweetly scented they are a great source of late nectar for foraging bees and other insects and are followed by shiny black berries that birds love too. Happy in a shady spot it will brighten the back of a border beautifully.
3. Daphne odora 'Aureomarginata'
A handsome evergreen shrub, this is one of the easiest daphnes to grow and will fill a small garden with its enchanting scent. Beautiful clusters of pale pink flowers open in midwinter among fetching, dark green leaves edged in gold and once the flowers fade they are followed by scarlet berries. Plant it at the front of a border so you don't miss its fragrance or subtle colour.
Skimmias are undemanding, easy to grow shrubs and this beauty has prolific wine-red buds bringing colour and interest throughout autumn. These are followed by striking cones of white flowers, which persist through 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 cheery winter pot.
5. Sarcococca confusa
A classic in the winter garden this wonderful shrub brings colour and most of all scent, to the bleak months of winter. With neat, glossy green leaves and sweet, vanilla scented white flowers, Sarcococca confusa has a dense compact habit and is ideal in containers, by the front door or at the edge of pathways - anywhere where its glorious fragrance can be appreciated.
A great architectural addition to the winter garden, this elegant shrub is one of the best ways to clothe a wall. With wavy, leathery leaves it is a mass of long, pendent, silky-green catkins throughout the winter and is stunning on a frosty morning when the silvery catkins contrast beautifully with the deep green leaves. It is frost hardy and will need protection through the winter in colder areas so the warmer the wall you can give it the better.
A winter garden essential this handsome little shrub is as popular as ever and for good reason. Dark green leaves have shining white margins, which take on a pink glow when the temperatures drop in autumn and winter. Small creamy flowers appear in summer. Unfussy and happy in sun and shade it makes a great low hedge or border shrub.
8. Ilex aquifolium 'Gold Flash'
One of the best hollies, 'Gold Flash' lives up to its name with stunning, slender, variegated foliage in rich green and bright yellow and lime. Scarlet berries appear in autumn but gather branches quickly for Christmas as the birds love them. 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. An attractive shrub for the border, 'Gold Flash' can also be grown as a small, specimen tree.
9. Camellia x williamsii 'Donation'
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.
One of the joys of late winter, an acacia in full flower is a sight to behold. With attractive feathery, ferny leaves it is a mass of bright yellow, sweetly scented puffball flowers from late winter onwards. Although tough trees acacias are frost sensitive so grow in your most sheltered spot in colder areas. Flowers are great for cutting and brightening up the house indoors too.