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Haskins is encouraging gardeners to set up their garden by planning ahead for the changing of the seasons and choosing a combination of plants to ensure year-round interest.
Alasdair Urquhart, in-house plant expert at Haskins, recommends the following top five plants for year-round interest:
- Choisya ‘Aztec Gold’
- With its gold architectural leaves, this is the perfect evergreen shrub.
- It has a roundish style, with leaves split into slender, pointed segments which are rich gold towards the tips and a slightly lime-yellow towards the base.
- Clusters of attractive, almond-scented white flowers first appear in spring and early summer followed by another flush in autumn.
- Happy in any reasonably well drained, fertile soil the brightest leaf colour develops in full sun.
- Hebe Caledonia
- With many hebes to choose from, Haskins’ favourite is ‘Caledonia,’ with its profuse violet flowers that appear from spring to autumn.
- It’s a compact variety, with young, wine-red leaves that fade to a ball of dark green.
- It’s also popular with wildlife, as the violet flowers are very attractive to pollinators.
- Performs well in coastal areas, and thrives in any fertile, free draining soil.
- Trachelospermum Jasminoides
- Haskins’ favourite evergreen climber that thrives in plenty of sun and can flower for what seems like all summer.
- Once established, the profuse white star-shaped flowers produce a sweet scent, followed by rich-bronze autumn tints to the leaves.
- Plants can easily be trained to cover a whole fence or trellis to make a green wall of foliage, which apart from rampant ivy, no other evergreen climber can achieve.
- For best results grow in well-drained soil in full sun or partial shade with protection from cold, drying winds.
- Leucothoe ‘Little Flames’
- Making a dramatic container plant, the young leaves of this compact, evergreen shrub appear to dance like small bright orange-red flames over the darker green foliage below.
- Providing attractive, trouble-free gardening, this plant tolerates most conditions but thrives in a moist soil.
- Effective as a very low hedge, it also has an added bonus of being deer resistant.
- Acer “Sango Kaku”
- Offering all year interest, this popular tree deserves its RHS Award of ‘Garden Merit.’
- The show starts with bright coral pink growth leading to deeply lobed yellow-orange foliage in spring, turning lush green in summer and then striking soft yellow in autumn.
- Once the foliage display is over, the bare branches take centre stage.
- Triggered by a cold snap, the stems and bark become a stunning winter focal point, turning a vibrant coral red.
- For best results, grow in a moist but well-drained soil in partial shade.
- Protect it from the harshest winds, which may cause leaf scorch.
Alasdair commented: “The key step to achieving a garden that really looks good all year round is to put in a good structure of plants that offer year-round colour and add seasonal flowering plants to provide additional interest. It is possible to achieve a garden that is never completely devoid of colour and looks stylish throughout the year. The full selection of plants we have recommended will be available at Haskins from mid-February.”
Haskins has garden centres in Ferndown in Dorset, West End in Southampton and Roundstone and Snowhill in West Sussex. For more information visit www.haskins.co.uk