Creating a Winter Wonderland

Creating a Winter Wonderland is easy with our help. Add the wow factor to your winter garden with striking plants that look their best right now. Whether you like to fill your borders with hardy shrubs covered with fragrant flowers, clad a fence or archway with colour, or plant a small flowering tree to create a focal point, you’ll find a great range of seasonal stunners in our garden centres during January.

A choice selection of the very hardiest plants put on their best show in the depths of winter, providing a bright outlook from the comfort of your armchair, and an even warmer welcome when you step outside.

Gold blooms really shine out on gloomy days, so look out for dramatic Witch Hazels that produce clusters of small fragrant flowers with petals like dainty ribbons, transforming the otherwise naked stems of this hardy shrub.

Evergreen mahonias are equally impressive, with golden sprays of flowers forming at the tip of each shoot. There are several varieties to choose from with different sizes and forms, and flowers on most are followed by the formation of grape-like berries in spring, giving these shrubs their common name of Oregon Grape.

For great garden performance it’s always worth looking out for varieties that have been given the Award of Garden Merit (AGM) by the Royal Horticultural Society, and this is indicated by a trophy symbol on our plant bed labels.

In addition to their welcome colour, fragrance is another valuable characteristic of many winter flowering shrubs. For long-lasting displays it’s hard to beat varieties of Viburnum x bodnantense that produce a succession of flowers from October until spring.

And for a shady site take a look at the Christmas Rose, Helleborus niger, a low-growing and compact perennial whose simple white cup-shaped flowers can be picked and floated on water in a glass bowl to provide seasonal table decorations.

Winter brings out the best in many plants. While flowers are an essential part of this seasonal spotlight, many other characteristics provide winter interest too. A wide range of conifers and evergreen shrubs provide bold forms and fancy foliage. Also look out for plants with colourful wand-like stems, dainty tassel-like catkins, and the tactile barks of many ornamental trees.

So don’t shut-up shop for winter, but welcome in the New Year in style with garden displays that provide colour, fragrance, foliage and form. Visit one of our Exeter based garden centres now to discover the best plants to create your very own winter wonderland!


Witch Hazel (Hamamelis varieties)

Unusual fragrant flowers in clusters of tiny ribbons develop along the entire length of stems. Varieties we grow and sell are:

x intermedia Arnold Promise (AGM), Diane (AGM), Fire Cracker, Jelena (AGM), Pallida (AGM) and Hamamelis mollis (AGM)

Oregon Grape (Mahonia varieties)

Choose from a range of robust and reliable Mahonias to provide evergreen foliage and golden seasonal flower, followed by black grape-like berries in spring. Good AGM varieties include ‘Winter Sun’, ‘Apollo’ and ‘Lionel Fortesque’ among the four other varieties we grow.

Winter Flowering Viburnum (Viburnum x bodnantense)

A majestic shrub producing deliciously fragrant pink/white flowers.
Our favourite is Viburnum x bodnantense Dawn (AGM).

Christmas Rose (Helleborus niger)

This compact perennial is perfect for a slightly shady position, producing clusters of flowers through winter and into spring. Also look out for the three other wonderful Hellebore hybrids we grow that are available now.