|Cornus ‘Midwinter Fire’|
As the deciduous shrubs lose their leaves and the perennials die back, plants such as cornus with their bright stem colour come into their own.
Over the winter, the bright red stems of Cornus alba add a focal point to the garden, looking particularly good with a spotlight pointed up onto the stems. In addition to the bright red stems of Cornus alba, the smaller growing Cornus ‘Midwinter Fire’ has stems of red, orange and yellow whilst Cornus sericea ‘Flaviramea’ has bright yellow-green stems.
Although there are many varieties that look great over the winter, there are others with excellent flowers such as Cornus mas flowering in late winter with lemon-yellow flowers on the bare stems. Cornus kousa has good autumn foliage but is stunning in early summer with masses of flowers in colours from white through to dark pink, depending on the variety.
Cornus are very easy to grow, tolerating conditions from very wet to very dry and from full sun to partial shade, although varieties grown for their winter stem colours are brighter in full sun.
They will accept harsh pruning if required so are easy to keep to the size you want. Cornus alba looks excellent at around 180cm (6ft) whilst Cornus kousa makes the most stunning small tree.
Underplant with spring bulbs and helleborus together with pansies and violas to brighten the garden during these darker months.
|Cornus controversa ‘Variegata’||Cornus kousa||Cornus alba||Cornus mas|