The luxury of time

Now, unlike 99.9% of all other gardener’s out there, I currently have the luxury of time to plan my garden.  Without beds full of flowers and food to maintain and manage, I am in an unprecedented position of being able to take the time to leaf through catalogues and websites to plan my garden for next Winter to ensure it is not just the 50 shades of brown it is now.

Reading another persons post this morning inspired me to start thinking about how I want my garden to look NEXT winter.  Having never had a very colourful winter garden before, I thought it would be nice to incorporate some plants into my new garden to ensure that this time next year, I can enjoy a garden with an array of beautiful colours in it.

Now, I am not made of money and Rome wasn’t built in a day, but the following are definitely some varieties I would like to see in my garden next year:

CERCIS chinensis ‘Avondale’

CERCIS chinensis 'Avondale'

Rich purple-pink flowers on bare stems in late April – May before the leaves emerge.  Large heart shaped leaves turn vivid yellow in Autumn.  Height: 4m



Introduced from China, the fragrant flowers are produced on leafless branches in Winter.  Height 2-2.5m

CORNUS (DOGWOOD) alba ‘sibirica’

CORNUS alba 'Sibirica'

White flowers in July, bright red stems in Winter.  Height 2-3m

CORNUS (DOGWOOD) sericea ‘Flaviramea’

CORNUS sericea 'Flaviramea'

Vivid yellow stems in Winter.  Green leaves turning purple in Autumn.  Height 2m

CORNUS (DOGWOOD) ‘Midwinter Beauty’

CORNUS 'Midwinter Beauty'

The orange barked Dogwood. Vivid orange stems in Winter.  Height2m

Edgeworthia ‘Chrysantha’

EDGEWORTHIA 'Chrysantha'

A beautiful late winter flowering shrub that is closely related to Daphne.  Height 2m.

ENKIANTHUS ‘Campanulatus’

ENKIANTHUS 'Campanulatus'

Produces creamy white bells, brilliant Autumn colouring.

Erica – Winter Flowering


A mix of ‘Darley Dale’ (Lilac), ‘J.W Porter’ (Pink), ‘Kramer’s Rote’ (Red), ‘White Perfection’ (White).



A compact, dwarf variety.  Bright yellow flowers in early Spring.  Height 1.2-1.5m

HAMAMELIS (WITCH HAZEL) ‘intermedia Jelena’, ‘intermedia magic fire’ and ‘mollis’


Growing to 3m, these 3 varieties of Witch Hazel come in scented coppery-orange, fragrant deep orange / red and bright yellow.

If I am lucky enough to get all of these plants in my garden for next Winter, I will certainly be enjoying the view a lot more 🙂


5 thoughts on “The luxury of time

  1. How lovely – I love dogwood too. I’m trying to decide whether to plant more or some more lavender in place of something that is pretty much done.

    Re heather – I LOVE this but it doesn’t seem to do well in my garden. I wonder whether my soil needs to be a bit poorer.

    • I think Dogwood looks best planted “en mass” and a singular plant can come across as a bit lost. I was quite surprised how many varieties there are available now, I have just found a lovely deep purple specimen which has caught my eye 😜.
      With regards to soil quality, isn’t it frustrating that some plants just don’t appreciate your efforts to improve their habitat? An old neighbour of mine used to grow Heather (incredibly successfully) in hanging baskets using just good old compost. She always had a lovely display.

      • We have very heavy clay (quite rich) and some plants just plain don’t like it. I’ve been trying to grow lupins (which I’ve never seen in the Isle of Wight) and they look APPALLING.

      • I am actually growing Lupins for the first time ever this year from seed and I have to admit, I am chuffed to bits at how well they are doing and how easy I have found them to grow. I have grown them directly into a multi-purpose compost and they are thriving. My old garden was heavy clay and if I didn’t add something to it every winter, even just bark, the following Spring was just a series of epic failures. Have you tried adding horticultural grit to the soil to lighten it slightly and improve drainage?

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